Will Butler of Arcade Fire could be an easy guy to be jealous of. That guy who can play a ton of instruments, write perfect arrangements and who has great hair. Butler has always been the most intriguing member of Arcade Fire and his last solo album Policy showed that he was just fine on his own. His new album extends that by channeling the like of Eno and Bowie while cementing his place within the indie world more so than he did over a decade ago.
Dancing with electronics for the opener “Outta Here,” Butler extends what he’s known for without losing his intent. The hooks that drive the track mixed with his vocal work offer an extraordinary build and a fantastic delivery. Following up with the raucous banger “Bethlehem” Butler heads straight into indie rock while adding synths and it works on every level. Like how Spoon was indie rock you could dance to, this is indie rock you can praise with its immensely well crafted haze. The happy-go-lucky stride of “Close My Eyes” keeps things catchy without sounding like eleven producers had a hand in it. The whole album is full of sincerity and honesty, far removed from what the bulk of the music industry has turned into in recent years.
While “Surrender” has this party type of atmosphere with the choral vocals and group atmosphere, and “Hard Times” goes down a path who’s only contemporary could be Gorillaz or Wolf Parade, it also stands alone. Of the ten tracks you get this in the moment feel, as if Butler is amusing himself at the range he can bring to a project with ease. Of the ten tracks the final song “Fine” offers the bulk of depth. Alongside backing vocalists and multiple instruments, the piano driven song has the feel of something from an off Broadway musical about history that hasn’t been written yet. Hopefully if it comes, Butler will be the one who writes it as well.
Generations is ready to purchase from Merge Records. It’s also available to stream on all services or to purchase in all digital outlets.
Image Credits: Photo by Will Butler.