Arcade Fire Mock Bad Review With ‘Premature Premature Evaluation’ of ‘Everything Now’
Bad reviews are a fact of life for musicians, and many artists have learned how to take them in stride. But Arcade Fire have gone in the other direction and taken aim at one website by aping its look and one of its feature columns.
It started when, shortly after the band annonuced the July 28 release of Everything Now. Stereogum responded with a lengthy piece called “Remember When Arcade Fire Were Good?” that, based on the title track that accompanied the news and the standalone track “I Give You Power,” the group had lost its way. The former they said, “coasts along in a state of semi-pleasant mediocrity, a nightmare Arcade Fire parody come to life” and that the latter is “wrangled uncomfortably into discordant electronic soul music approximating what might happen if Trent Reznor made a song with his grandmother, Fiery Furnaces-style.” Only “the deathless power of nostalgia” kept up the reviewer’s optimism that the album would reach the heights expected of Arcade Fire.
On Thursday, Arcade Fire launched a page called “Stereoyum” with a “Premature Premature Evalution,” a knock on Sterogum’s “Premature Evaluation” feature. It directly mentioned, and linked to, Stereogum’s piece. Calling it “a review before the review before the review of a new album,” they began by slamming the original writer’s point. “The truth, we said, is that #FailingArcadeFire are no longer giving us that thing we really liked, back when we were all a little younger and more hopeful. Sad!”
However, with four songs now being previewed, they’ve been able to think a little more clearly, and imagines what their “Premature Evaluation” would say. “It’s likely, though, that we’ll compare Everything Now unfavorably to both Funeral and The Suburbs, while calling it a bounceback after Reflektor,” the piece said, guessing that the three uptempo songs would be compared to sub-standard LCD Soundsystem tracks.
“Either way, we’ll mention the band’s respect for the album as a form,” they continue, “not just a collection of songs, while also noting that that respect is somewhat lame and pretentious, evoking as it does the specter of progressive rock.”
Arcade Fire closes by making the points that it’s unfair to review an entire album based on one track and that records need time to grow on the listener, and say that the haters’ opinion will change. “Eventually,” they close, “we will grudgingly but happily admit that Arcade Fire probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and suggest that, in a few months — after listening to Everything Now enough times to really digest it — we’ll figure out what we really think of it.”
Arcade Fire Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness