On their 2004 debut, Funeral, Montreal’s Arcade Fire hit the world with one of the very greatest indie rock albums to date, and now add another album to that collection. This time, however, they’ve opted for a slightly more mainstream approach that, thankfully, has not affected the quality of their composing in the slightest. What’s great about this is it seems as though every sophomore effort from a promising new indie act fails, almost abysmally, to meet expectations, and often sounds too much like a lower quality repeat of their debut; Neon Bible is, by no means, one of those cases. The strings are still prominently there, though it seems as though the guitar is less prevalent; the song “Intervention” starts out, and runs for a while, with only pipe-organ, sounding like the most well-written, enjoyable church song you’ve ever heard, aside from the words. And, this brings up another point: lyrics. This isn’t any Sheryl Crow album, and if you know anything about Funeral, you shouldn’t expect it to be. To again refer to “Intervention,” one of the most clearly heard refrains on the album is, “Working for the church while your family dies/They take what they give you and they keep it inside/Every sparkle of friendship and love/Will die without a home.” These kind of intense, pessimistic lines can be heard all through the album; in the end, however, one doesn’t feel pissed off because of all the negativity; the internal message in the lyrics often has a different air to it, and a song like “Keep The Car Running” could be seen as some sort of left-field motivation. Either way you view it, upon finishing the album everything makes perfect sense, as only a truly astonishing work of art can.