Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Yes, after the towering success of their debut album Funeral, you will be reading any number of reviews of this lavishly orchestrated, dramatic follow-up by this big Montreal-based ensemble.
Let me be the first to say then that there are as many resonances of Echo and the Bunnymen/Teardrop Explodes here as there are of stadium-shaped Springsteen.
Like the Killers' second album, this seems purpose-built for huge shows (check the dramatic pipe organ opener on Intervention and tell me that won't sound thrilling wafting across a packed field and terraces), and singer Will Butler pulls out every dramatic flourish in the manner of Bono at his most messianic.
They also roped in Calexico's horn players, and recorded a military choir in Budapest.
My guess is that after making that debut for what they assumed to be a small audience then getting swept from small halls to stadiums by its success they have, again like the Killers, written with that atmosphere and audience in mind.
It is an oddly produced thing however, some tracks leap out and others sound way back and murky.
My pick is this: reviewers will be divided.* Some will hear it as pompous, pretentious and over-orchestrated; others will just get swept up in the overwrought drama and air-punching choruses.
It must be the kid in me, because although I accept all of the former I'm erring toward the latter. Sounds fantastic turned up VERY loud.
*As it happened I was both wrong, and right. Critics widely acclaimed the album which meant I was wrong, but was sort of right in my assessment of the album.