Neon Bible

While Arcade Fire received a deafening roar of critical approval for its peerless 2004 debut, Funeral, its reputation as a killer live band is where the band has made its mark, and with Neon Bible, the Montreal seven-piece has a collection of songs made to be plaayed live. The first single, “Intervention,” begins with a chest-swelling church organ intro before coming at you in increasing waves, with drums, strings and a soaring background chorus jumping aboard until it all comes crashing to an end. Just as fine is the insistent and paranoid “(Antichrist Television Blues),” on which frontman Win Butler doesn’t just sound like Springsteen, he is Springsteen. Where The Boss reminded Wendy and the rest of us that “we were born to run,” Butler tells a “little bird in a cage … to get up on that stage” because “when I was your age, I was downtown working for minimum wage, and I’m not gonna let you just throw it all away.” Less somber than the more thickly arranged Funeral, Neon Bible nonetheless feels like a fulfillment of the promise of that album’s anthemic “Rebellion (Lies),” with the band using its revivalist powers to reach out even further.