My Problem is that Church Organ…

Arcade FireSo what do you think of the new Arcade Fire song, “Intervention“? It seems the bloggy world is anxiously waiting this band’s follow up to the indie classic, Funeral: the sophomore effort Neon Bible has people worked up to the point of near giddiness. And though everyone thinks the first single is amazing, I am a little less enthusiastic. I think my problem is that church organ. While it’s powerful, but I am not sure it works. Here’s why:

In the version I heard, which may or may not be the final mix, the organ is large and atmospheric in the room; it has a big and thunderous presence as it echoes with tons of reverberation. By its nature, the room is large and distantly mic’d to capture that ambiance. But something’s not right.

It seems everything else (from the drums to the vocals, guitars, keys, bass and so on) are close up in the mix. And inherently because the way they were probably recorded, in a close, dry, intimate setting like a studio or basement, it sounds flat. This proves to be problematic for me because the song never copes with those two various sounds and it never becomes one. And while the song overall is heroic and anthemic, they contradict each other and it pulls me out of the moment. It is very consciously trying to have that epic moment, but the organ feels over dramatic and over the top– and a bit self-serving.

It will be interesting to hear this song in the context of the album as a whole, because for me that was the strength of their previous album. I believe the album drops the first week of March. Check your local music shoppes, and internet connections for further details.