REVIEW: Arcade Fire – “Everything Now”
by Chad Jewett
An air of familiarity hangs around the lush, open atmosphere of “Everything Now”, the newest single from Arcade Fire. The song’s runtime and its studious reformatting of disco recall “Reflektor”: another epic-length first glimpse of an album that seemed to have similar things to say about the pitfalls of modern life. This time around the dance music is cheerier – the upward-arcing strings and R&B harmonies that cloak “Everything Now” register more like actual disco than the paranoid minor key simmer of “Reflketor”, which seemed to urge motion even as it presaged doom – and more custom-fit to the collectivist nature of what Arcade Fire does. Like Reflektor before it, “Everything Now” is impeccably produced, with touches of flute and acoustic guitar that can’t help but recall Talking Heads, who similarly found ways of stitching global flair onto the sounds of the nightclub. If there’s a source of frustration here, it’s that “Everything Now” constitutes the first time that Arcade Fire seemingly haven’t evolved into some new phase. Neon Bible eschewed the pastoral earnestness of Funeral in favor of something dystopian and punchy. The Suburbs was a lush tract of pop-modernism. Reflektor focused on grooves and a dub-inflected claustrophobia. “Everything Now” keeps that same attention to back-beat, playing out like an extended club 12” of itself the way so much of the preceding album did. It remains a compelling space for Arcade Fire to inhabit. It’s just no longer a surprising one.