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Better than Radiohead?


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Arcade Fire is alright but it's like goofy U2 epic music with even more melodrama on the average track than the worst offenders in Radioheads discography. It's stadium rock complete with pre-installed "raise your hand in the air" chants. Nothing extremely wrong with dabbling in that but they almost only do that and it leaves a bad mark on some great tunes. Refektor was a fine album and a step in the right direction with songwriting and production but they still managed to make every song 2 minutes too long just so they could make everything seem really epic, self indulgent stuff.

 

Not to mention Neon Bible and Suburbs just had a ton of useless songs

 

what is 'goofy U2 epic music'? U2 have released a lot of albums. Few really care for the more recent material, but dial back to Achtung Baby and they were the masters of the groove and low slung, pedal exploring riffs (Radiohead themselves mocked the record in an early interview, but there they were a few years later recording 'Airbag' in all its epic european experimental dubby flanginess). Hardly 'raise your hand in the air' territory but even if it were, major chords are not a crime. Arcade Fire clearly came equipped (like U2) with a Bruce Springsteen influence and little regard for staring down at the stage and asking permission to express themselves: the real issue to my ears was just bloat in the instrumental arrangements, not the structures. The wall of sound they were doubtless going for gave Neon Bible and The Suburbs a kind of earnest desperation that tires the ear. That approach is almost completely gone from Reflektor; it's truly remarkable how they've gutted their sound and refurbished it (on the superior two-thirds or so of the record) with badass interplay. I can't say I've ever listened to the album and thought that they're not following a logical compositional narrative. It's mostly a rhythm record, in the long, fine tradition of all the rock artists who've transitioned away from dominant frontmen/lead players, so it's going to feel less cutthroat. But there's a lot going on. I could live without Porno's lengthy squelch and the decorative 2 minute dub track, certainly. Otherwise I'd argue it's very tight. Of course you realise that in the real world, nobody actually sits there and thinks 'I will make my song more epic by adding 2 minutes somewhere' except in some very rare corner cases, there's not a chance in hell Arcade Fire were ever amateurish enough to do so. They suffered from a different kind of bloat and this year they killed it. There's probably a slight suspicion that actually James Murphy killed it so where they go from here, with or without him, I don't know.

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I don't know about that. They might very well come close to radiohead, but there are other modern bands that are arguably better than both.

 

Funeral is the only Arcade Fire album that can come close to Radiohead tbh, and I'd put much of that on par with some of the best Radiohead. 

Definitely modern bands unarguably better than Arcade Fire, not so much Radiohead. Maybe a few.

 

Bands I enjoy as much as I enjoy Radiohead but don't necessarily think are better:

-Sigur Ros

-The Mountain Goats

-Talking Heads

-Pink Floyd (only considering Animals, WYWH, and Dark Side to be up to RH lately though)

-The Beatles

-My Bloody Valentine

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since Reflektor was released, very much this world I'm afraid. it even includes some material that is close enough to mature Radiohead (compare 'Awful Sound' to 'Reckoner') that you might consider it an all out assault on the throne. most worrying of all (to this veteran of the Kid A wars) most negative reviews of the record use the precise rhetoric Radiohead were dismissed with circa 2000. ominous.

 

been a long time since I was at high school though.

I'm very much looking forward to hearing what Arcade Fire does with the Reflektor material live.  It could be balls-to-the-wall over the top amazing.  Hoping the Coachella headliner rumors are true, it'll make the weekend.

 

I graduated from high school before most of you were born, and am glad that some of you occasionally find me amusing.

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Arcade Fire are close. They don't have any "down records" like Pablo Honey, HTTT, and TKOL (personally I love all three of these albums, but opinions often split).

 

Regardless, Mikes Davis is better. Tom Waits is better. The Beatles are better. Maybe Rolling Stones but I'm not a big fan. Pink Floyd? Close, I dunno though.

 

Led Zepplin? I hate me but some folks might say they're better. I'm not among them.

 

It's all relative.

 

George Watsky is better than Radiohead. Radiohead are better than George Watsky.

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Not even close, I don't think. Breezeblocks is a great, great song, but the rest is a mixed bag that never comes near the highs of that song.

 

opinions, eh? I really like alt-J

 

That being said, I prefer every RH album to an awesome wave, except maybe Pablo Honey. 

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I used to be a coldplay fan but then I got into Radiohead and it was like wow. I used to love every Coldplay song but to be honest I can't even listen to some same songs anymore. Of course the world's taste in music has skyrocketed down with all these songs about drugs, stereotypical love and other bad stuff. Radiohead is in my opinion the best band because I can relate to them, they tend to sing about deeper things than even Coldplay (who is claimer 'deep').

 

Otherwise a close second is Peter Gabriel- maybe somes songs are a little too cheerful for my darker taste in music, but I really like Games Without Frontiers, Signal to the Noise and their cover of Talking Head's Listening Wind. 

 

I agree- the Talking Head's live performance is really cool to watch.

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