Vial of sounds. Flashes of light…

The lyrics of Arcade Fire’s ‘Neon Bible’ have moved me. The song goes something like this:

A vial of hope and a vial of pain
In the light they both looked the same
Poured them out on into the world
On every boy and every girl singing

It’s the Neon Bible, the Neon Bible
Not much chance for survival
If the Neon Bible is right

Take the poison of your age
Don’t lick your fingers when you turn the page
What I know is what you know is right
In the city you see only light

It’s the Neon Bible, the Neon Bible
Not much chance for survival
If the Neon Bible is right

Oh god, well, look at you now!
Oh, you lost it, but you don’t know how!
In the light of a golden calf
Oh god, I had to laugh!
Take the poison of your age
Don’t lick your fingers when you turn the page
It was wrong but you said it was right
In the future I will read at night

In the Neon Bible, the Neon Bible
Not much chance for survival
If the Neon Bible is true

I don’t know why, this song gives me this strange surreal feeling. Are they talking about hallucinogenic drugs under the effect of which the good and the bad become indistinguishable? Or are they condemning excessive commercialism where even a Bible is given a ‘neon’ makeover. This ‘Neon Bible’ stands for commercialism that entices and attracts. The ‘golden calf’ stands for wealth which is worshiped as a god. The neon Bible also stands for the television that keeps streaming flickering images of war, destruction and despair. People are already desensitized to these images. ‘A vial of hope and a vial of pain
In the light they both looked the same’. Hope, pain, anger, joy, love, hate, they are all the same in the light of the neon Bible.

Musically, the song has a lulling effect on the listener. The words are but whispers with white noise-like sounds in the background. It sounds as though they have recorded the song inside a bathroom. The soundscape is full of echoes as if the sounds are bouncing off water bodies.

Listen to it if you are, like me, a fan of everything alternative. If you don’t feel like going too deep, listen to it just for the way it sounds. Let it work your senses into a sense of stupor. Let it release your soul into the vast expanse of nothingness. No, not death but something higher than death. Immortality? No. Eternal youth? No. Then what? I don’t know. Really. Another life maybe. On a parallel universe, a different worldline, a different space-time.

Arcade Fire
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s