Sometimes, I wonder why I like pop music? There is so much rubbish about, people with no talent earning millions, and it isn't just a modern phenomenon. It has always been the case. Boybands with their supposed good looks appealing to teenage girls, boybands with guitars (as if the mere act of holding an instrument gives them some kind of credibility), youngish females - with precious little clothing - selling the fantasy of sex... all have absolutely nothing to do with music. The irony is that these folk are convinced they have talent. They are arrogant. Real musicians know there is always room for improvement and always doubt their own ability!
When listening to a piece of "classical" music that takes a theme and develops it, as opposed to repeating it over and over ad nauseam, it makes me wonder why I like any pop music. But I try to keep an open mind and seek out the good in things. Recently, I discovered a band from Montreal, Canada called Arcade Fire. I'd seen and heard them on "Later with Jools", towards the end of last year, and their sound caught my attention but I thought no more of it until recently when, flicking through the channels, I landed on E4 and the video of "Rebellion (Lies)" was playing. I'm a sucker for rock bands that use orchestral instruments, especially strings!
It's probably George Martin we have to thank for the addition of strings on pop records not to mention the piccolo trumpet! As can be seen in the photo, Arcade Fire use a range of instruments adding a couple of violins, a doublebass and accordion to those of a traditional rock band. That already makes them intriguing. Coupled with the plaintive cry of the lead singer, I've started to ask myself whether or not this group could be the new Roxy Music? I've asked myself that many times, over the past thirty years, about groups ranging from Sparks to The Stranglers, Magazine to Portishead, to name but four! Arcade Fire's "Rebellion (Lies)", from the album "Funeral", is an uplifting pop song, far removed from the bland mainstream, and thus worth consideration.