Arcade Fire Sound Like they’re Scoring a Car Chase on ‘Signs of Life’

Part of Arcade Fire’s appeal is the theatricality and even if the lyrics of ‘Signs of Life’ aren’t as scathing or affecting as ‘Everything Now’, they still land on the chin with a verified zip. Armed with a salvo of hand claps, pealing strings and cerulean synths, ‘Signs of Life’ sounds like the precursor to a car chase in many ways. There’s an inherent sense of nervousness and urgency, desperation even in Win Butler’s never-ending search. And obviously the sirens provide the marquis touch of danger. But still there’s nothing particularly revolutionary here. Only when the track reaches its climax does ‘Signs of Life’ finally settle into something a little more interesting. Even though there are a lot of different musical elements at play here the canvas still sounds bare. But amidst the cohesion of those final couple of minutes, oddly helped by the blare of those sirens, the disco-laden pomp finally finds a natural rhythm that truly cultivates the empty space in an effective manner.

7/10

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