Monday, September 06, 2010

The Next Level

Expectations are the challenge, and sometimes the curse, of brilliance. Show promise, and you raise the bar.. Today's song, the anthemic 'Ready to Start,' comes from a group that showed great promise and steadily delivered, the critically acclaimed Montreal-based indie rock septet Arcade Fire.

Born in Montreal's lofts and art galleries and fronted by husband-and-wife duo Win Butler and RĂ©gine Chassagne, the group's panoply of instruments adds violin, xylophone, glockenspiel and accordion to the mix, on top of excellent guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.

Arcade Fire have painstakingly crafted three memorable concept albums, 'Funeral,' 'Neon Bible,' and 'The Suburbs,' each of which is diverse, lyrically sharp, and musically adventurous.

The group's sound somehow manages to be energetic and passionate despite being dark and downbeat; the result is full of life, with all its chaos and mixed emotions.

The rewards of vision and uncompromising ambition have been an intensely loyal following and a cartful of awards and nominations, including Meteor and Juno wins plus a 'Best Alternative Album' grammy nod.

The 'Ready to Start' video clip is a concert performance artfully filmed in black and white...

Let's walk through their sonic and filmic journey, starting with their 2004 breakthrough 'Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels),' from a debut album that also contained songs named Neighborhoods 2, 3, and 4!

From their second album, their now-classic 'No Cars Go'...

'Neon Bible,' title track of their second album, is a quietly lovely...

One last visit, to 'Neighborhood #3 (Power Out),' the song that first grabbed my attention...

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