Even before the offical release I had an opinion – this is the worst record Arcade Fire ever made. The rather unconvincing, disco-inspired singles failed to connect with me on any level. Even the album cover looks like it’s more suited for Imagine Dragons or shit like that.
After a few listens I see I was a bit too harsh. Still, it’s the worst thing they ever recorded, nowhere near The Suburbs or Reflektor, not to mention the earliest albums. Everything Now is a huge dissappointment, destroying hopes of fans around the world. It fails to be another game-changing, stellar indie record… but it does another thing, something I would never expect from Win Butler and company. It’s an excellent guilty pleasure album. The ever-present synths, disco inspirations and catchy melodies provide an enjoyable but forgettable record.
The opening, title track was growing on me for a while. Yeah, it’s kinda pretensious, sounds a bit like ABBA, but it certainly isn’t a bad track. Great sing-a-long value and the overall joyous feel of the track make it a nice opener. Signs of Life is my favourite song out here – moody, mysterious, with a great bassline – it would be a perfect fit on Reflektor. Creature Comfort deals with some really serious issues, so I’m not sure this style and arrangement really fit here – it makes the song sound a bit like an unintended parody.
The next song, Peter Pan, is a strong contender for the title of the worst Arcade Fire song, so let’s just stop here. Chemistry echoes a bit of Bowie, but it feels a little cheesy. The two-part Infinite Content is a highlight, one song performed in two totally different styles. There’s a bit of filler after that, and the two closing tracks sound like they were meant to be ambitious and epic but kinda lack that special something (maybe they’ll grow on me though).
Overall, it’s not as bad as many reviewers would have you believe. But it’s not good either. Nice album for the summer, but sadly nothing more – you’d expect much more from a band of that caliber. Bonus points for self-awareness and irony in the lyrics and promotional materials – who knows, maybe it was meant as a parody?