Happy hump day LemonWire. We know Wednesdays can sometimes drag on. So for those of you who need a little extra push to get through the rest of the week, we’ve got the perfect song today to get you over the hump. Our song of the day today is “Electric Blue”, from Arcade Fire’s 2017 album, “Everything Now”.
This week, we’ve been playing a little bit of genre-leapfrog, rather than sticking to a single one. So far, we’ve hit indie-power pop with The New Pornographers on Monday, and progressive and psychedelic rock on Tuesday with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard.
Using generic “rock” as a pivot to the dance-rock of Arcade Fire’s “Electric Blue” may seem like its cheating, but we’re just going to use that as an excuse so that we can talk about this great song.
But before we get to the song itself, let’s look at the album.
Arcade Fire’s fifth studio album comes off as a bit of a surprise from a long-term fan of the band. On the one hand, it’s an impressive concept album that comments on our growing need as a society for endless entertainment. But in another, perhaps larger way, it almost sounds like Arcade Fire giving up a bit, and trading passionate, dynamic songs for the three C’s: concept, commentary, and cynicism.
One of the more interesting aspects of the album, is that it circles back on itself with the title track “Everything Now”, “Everything Now (continued)”, and “Everything_Now (continued)”. We see similar tracks on the album with the back to back “Infinite Content” and “Infinite_Content”, with a frustratingly repetitive message that does little to add anything.
Overall, it’s an album that I was surprised to dislike. But that didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy the gems I found along the way. One of those gems, and possibly the best track on the album, is our song of the day, “Electric Blue”.
Tldr: “Everything Now” sacrifices quality songwriting for a cynical message, but also comes with a few legitimately fun dance tunes.
“Electric Blue” is one of the five singles that were released for “Everything Now”, and stands (in my opinion, at least) as the best song that came out of “Everything Now”. It falls into a really infectious dance groove that doesn’t let up, and doesn’t need to. Regine Chassange’s vocals are absolutely sublime, and they’re one of the main reasons why this track stands out among any competitors on the album.
It sounds weird, but I get a sense of both The Gorillaz and MGMT from “Electric Blue”. It may be the name, but I can’t stop thinking about “Electric Feel”, even though the two songs share nothing else in common other than half the title and a sub-genre of dance.
Along with its generally upbeat tone, the lyrics to “Electric Blue” also help it stand out against the cynical musings of others on “Everything Now”. However, they’re also a bit repetitive and vague at times, but that won’t stop us from taking a good look at them.
“Summer’s gone and so are you
See the sky electrocute
A thousand boys that look like you
Cover my eyes electric blue”
Here, the only thing we can safely interpret, is that “Electric Blue” deals with the post-relationship fallout in the modern age. The last two lines comment on the endless swiping of apps like Tinder and the like. The phrase, “electric blue” describes the light from a phone, but maybe also the feeling of being down or “blue” when absorbing oneself in media. That would certainly fit into the overall message of “Everything Now”.
The other lyrics attempt to explore this theme more, but in the end, only manage to give similar limited glimpses at the same issue. Of course, I’m not saying that the lyrics of a song need to be equivalent to a research paper, but maybe some storytelling wouldn’t be a bad thing?
“Electric Blue” is a stellar song, despite some of the few flaws that it might share with the majority of “Everything Now”. I think that starting off with a harsh criticism of the album led to a less positive (and perhaps unfair) opinion of “Electric Blue”. It’s still a solid dance tune worthy of single status. And it can still do the job of pushing you through to the second half of the week.
That about wraps up our discussion for today. We’ll be back tomorrow with another song for our week of genre-leapfrog.