Label: Columbia Records
Released: 6th May 2022
Arcade Fire have never before found themselves in the place they did when launching their latest album, ‘WE’. With a significant gap since their last, the maximalist ‘Everything Now’, it was the first time the band had genuinely found themselves questioned. Divisive, sometimes jarring and generally not what was expected from a group who’d always felt so organic and real, their sacred cow status was genuinely in doubt.
‘WE’ has no time for any of that. An album of connections and belonging, it taps into the mood of a planet that saw community thrown into chaos. Big, confident and playing to its strengths, this is the Arcade Fire than wins hearts and minds.
They haven’t fully disconnected from the social zeitgeist. An album split into movements and tracks, the two that make of opening thrust ‘Age of Anxiety’ very much understand the ills of the world around us, but where once sat fear now comes hope. ‘End of the Empire’, arriving in two tracks and four separate parts, swells in a way only Arcade Fire can, while ‘The Lightning II’ fizzes with the kind of energy you’ll only find in archive videos of those early small venue shows, overflowing with every emotion.
Returning to their sonic roots, ‘WE’ sees each and every strand of Arcade Fire bound together in perfect formation. Stronger, more robust and comfortable in their own skin, those questioning thoughts can firmly be cast aside. Arcade Fire are back, and they’re brilliant.