Headphones: Arcade's 'Wild Fire'

Alike many recent alternative rock-band releases, Montreal’s Arcade Fire returned in 2017 with their most profound album yet. "Everything Now," sonically, really is everything, now. The group saw no clear boundaries on this record and seems as though they were attempting to incorporate as many genres as they could. The Weeknd gave us a "Reminder," of his talents this week, adding A$AP Rocky and Young Thug to the "Starboy" track. Ed Sheehan and Fall Out Boy each released new music videos that will have you high on life.

Album of the Week: Everything Now – Arcade Fire: Everything about "Everything Now" is electric down to the colorful album cover. Pushing toward a more pop and electronic-alternative approach, Arcade Fire recruited Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk and Geoff Barrow of Portishead as co-producers of their new album.   

"Everything_Now (continued)" begins the record with a brief sweet tune transferred to distorted, ear-piercing noise, a voice demanding “Now,” and continues into the upbeat, driving, melodic titular pop song "Everything Now." The never-ending layers of instruments added to this ABBA-inspired, benevolent track, make "Everything Now," the potent five minutes it is.

"Signs of Life," takes a psychedelic, 80s-funk sound with Arcade Fire's own electronic twist on it. A groovy bass guitar takes us into the adventures of “Special agents in love” who are enjoying a pleasant day of cultural activities and searching for signs of life. The badass couple get into a boat that says “Lay and Pipe,” cruise through the city, and complete the many tasks that lead them to the "signs."

Front man Win Butler responded to many assumptions made by music reviewers that he is not in fact rapping on the recently released single "Signs of Life." In an interview with Beats 1 Radio , Lowe confessed, “Unless, like, Bob Dylan raps, I do not rap on an Arcade Fire song. It’s not a thing that happens…”

Step into a teenage-crazed crisis with "Creature Comfort." An alternative pop-rock tune leads lyrics about discontent, body issues and addiction leading to suicide. The lyrics are rather sad, ironic when paired with an optimistic beat. Butler’s lyrics are typically meaningful and clever. Here he references the band's first record, “Assisted suicide/She dreams about dying all the time/She told me she came so close/Filled up the bathtub and put on our first record…” The bands first record, "Funeral" is known to have several darker tracks.

More “life-threatening” allusions are drawn in the well-written "Peter Pan." “Be my Wendy, I'll be your Peter Pan/Come on baby, take my hand/We can walk if you don't feel like flying/We can live, I don't feel like dying…” You can feel the burning love behind this track and the ever-altering melody helps stress that. A reggae-electronic beat backs the guitar, keyboard and Butler's genuine vocals. The track is unlike many songs I’ve heard before.

An easy favorite is the diverse "Chemistry." The song is irresistibly groovy with afro beat undertones, and resonates like a rock ‘n’ roll banger. "Infinite Content" transitions us into a punk-rock jam, again playing on this theme of satisfaction. Then "Infinite_Content," comes in gracefully with soft vocals and folky guitar licks. The follow up track serves as a great, slow break in the record.

The heavy, "We Don’t Deserve Love," does not stray away from the folk-rock sound either. The pulsing synths add an intense feeling to the already soulful song. Once the chorus comes in, the band returns with lots of power in their characteristic alternative-rock style. Butler sings sincerely into the final, symphonic track "Everything Now (continued);" ending the record where they started it, in the “now.”

Single of the Week: Reminder (Remix) – The Weeknd Featuring A$AP Rocky & Young Thug: The Weeknd has released a remix of his popular "Starboy" single, "Reminder." Young Thug makes a cameo, recounting his struggle to hear himself on the radio, then gloating about his present financial comfort and sex game. A$AP, consistent as ever, spits along a stream of ideas ranging from voice recordings to Jaden Smith's hair.

The accompanying music video featuring Drake, Travis Scott, A$AP and more, was nominated for five different MTV Video Music Awards. Abel is nominated for Artist of the Year, while music video "Reminder," is up for Video of the Year, Best Direction, Best Art Direction and Best Editing.

Music Videos

Bibia Be Ye Ye – Ed Sheeran: Bliss is contagious in Ed Sheeran’s tropical, vibrant track and accompanying visual story of "Bibia Be Ye Ye," meaning everything will be fine. Locals go about their day lip syncing and grooving to Sheeran’s gleaming melodies in sheer happiness.

Champion – Fall Out Boy: Several characters “live through” each others’ reality through a holographic pair of goggles. The stories combine and each narrative resonates along with the ending, where Jaden Smith abruptly destroys the magic glasses and walks away emotional. Fall Out Boy have their sound; hell they’ve always had it, and it just works. 

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