Arcade Fire, “Everything Now”
At the risk of sounding like the kind of person the Canadian indie rock outfit takes aims at on its latest album, Arcade Fire has gotten too smart for its own good. A concept album at heart, “Everything Now” bemoans the screen-obsessed wasteland that the digital age has wrought. “We turn the speakers up till they break /’cause every time you smile it’s a fake / stop pretending you’ve got everything now,” frontman Win Butler sings on the album’s ABBA-influenced lead single. The song is a highlight despite its immense pretense, casting a judgmental eye at the phone-raised crowd from an arena stage that that very crowd (and its precious internet) helped erect. A punchy melody and playful musical demeanor lifts the single above the rest of the album, which is less concerned with making interesting music than translating David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest” to the stage.