To put it bluntly: Everything Now is not a good album. Arcade Fire, who took the music world by storm with epic, orchestral indie rock anthems, have since then continued to shun their signature sound in favour of bland, repetitive dance music.
The title track is so Abba it’s uncomfortable, with ’70s disco beats and a glitzy piano melody. There’s a repeated woodwind refrain which could have been taken straight out of The Lion King, and feels unending.
The hand claps on Signs of Life channel the same vibe as the band’s 2013 Reflektor, but with less dynamic variation. Creature Comfort, too, could fit on their last album with its fizzy techno synths and catchy bass line. It’s the first decent song here, yet doesn’t have a real chorus; lead singer Win Butler prefers to repeat “On and on, I don’t know what I want”.
An attempt at a techno/reggae hybrid on Peter Pan and Chemistry highlights the band’s tragic fall from grace; Electric Blue and Put Your Money On Me offer little more than pleasant melodies.
What’s more, Butler has no distinct lyrical themes, resorting to hollow lines, like “Baby you and me, we got chemistry”. He may condemn “Those cool kids stuck in the past”, but at least back then Arcade Fire wrote actual songs.