Arcade Fire - "Creature Comfort" (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

17 July 2017

"Creature Comfort" is a big, bold statement of intent from Arcade Fire. This is a song that leaves you anything but anesthetized.
 

Paul Carr: This is a big, bold statement of intent from Arcade Fire. There is a clear and admirable desire for the band not to spend too long in the same space and to mine their DNA to reinvigorate themselves. The big synths and angular new wave of early ‘80s the Cure sound fresh and like nothing the band has done before. Despite the retro stylings, the subject matter is refreshingly current as the group deal with the quest for personal validation from family, friends, and strangers, the anxieties of negative body image and the relentless pursuit of fame at the expense of everything else. The band cleverly offer a metaphorical panacea for all of these ills in the form of Creature comfort. Something to numb the pain. This is a song that leaves you anything but anesthetized. [9/10]
  

Kevin Korber: Here, we have a Grammy-winning band who sell out stadiums and collaborate with some of the most recognizable names in popular music today singing about how celebrity culture is warping people’s minds. Granted, this isn’t as incongruous as if, say, Taylor Swift performed a song like this, but Arcade Fire are still hardly in a place to pull something like this off convincingly. Besides, hasn’t this been done many, many times before? The grandiosity of the production adds some appeal if you’ve liked the band in the past, but “Creature Comfort” is a far cry from the moving, emotional sweep of “Wake Up” or “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)”. That epic feel is still there, but the words and sentiments ring hollow. [4/10]

Ian Rushbury: If you get a New Order record and a Scissor Sisters record and play them both at the same time, you’ll have a rough idea of what “Creature Comfort” sounds like. And that’s the most emo lyric you’ll hear this side of My Chemical Romance. But it’s sort of irresistible in a good way. If you listen very closely, you can hear people pulverizing their copies of “Funeral” with their own shoes. [7/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: There’s nothing original about “Creature Comfort”. Arcade Fire tries to be a nu-disco David Bowie but isn’t nearly fun enough to pull it off. This is a song that takes itself too seriously, full of belted-out cliches and a melody that goes absolutely nowhere. It’s too bad Arcade Fire opted not to make it painless. [3/10]

Christopher Thiessen: A poignant track calling out the emphasis on celebrity American culture has created and the effect that that has on depression and suicidal thoughts. Win Butler reminds that there are beauty and happiness all around us, but we’ve been blinded to it by the want for fame, flash, etc. The glam, new wave production of the song is ironic as it reminds of a musical era where flash and excess were celebrated. [8/10]

Spyros Stasis: The band’s previous single “Everything Now” found Arcade Fire embracing the sound they began exploring with The Reflektor. With a distinctly ‘80s influence, they carry on with their second single from Everything Now, “Creature Comfort.” Leaping away from their indie rock sound, the band sets up the track to work through over the top synthesizers and repetitive, mechanical drumming. What is left is an anthemic disco rock offering, sonically impressive and one that will translate very well in their live performances, but essentially hollow. [5/10]

Tristan Kneschke: There is little of note in the “Creature Comforts” video. A digital ticker tape reducing the lyrics to karaoke is a misstep, particularly as Win Butler’s voice is crystal clear in the mix already. Lyrics these poignant are better heard and felt, not read and comprehended. A single locked-off camera shot in which the main gag is the band’s live performance doesn’t bring things back to basics. It speaks to a lack of video budget and creative vision that no amount of glossy costumes and keytars can change. This might earn a passing grade for a smaller band, but at the stadium rocker level, the bar is set higher, and a shame given the genuinely catchy song. [4/10]

Mike Schiller: I have definitely played a video game that sounds like this. Arcade Fire’s latest taste of their upcoming LP Everything Now at least has more teeth than the title track that showed up a few weeks ago, with all its buzzy synths and shouted proclamations of the insecurities of youth. Regine Chassagne is particularly effective as a keytar-wielding disco goddess who gets to shout choruses and be badass. Like “Everything Now”, there’s a little bit of a sense of “let’s take one idea and run it into the ground for five minutes,” but the groove here is more effective, and the touches of the personal that Win Butler throws in amongst all of the sloganeering make his tortured frontman act a lot more convincing. I bet it sounds great on the album. [7/10]

Chris Ingalls: Arcade Fire drop yet another single from their highly anticipated album “Everything Now, and like the previously released title track, “Creature Comfort” is full of bright synthpop and killer hooks, almost as if they were specifically contracted to create an ‘80s-era hit single. The lazy funk paired with Win Butler’s speak/sing vocals and the bubbly backup vocals make for a perfect summer single. Not exactly rocket science, but probably works well at your next house party. [8/10]

SCORE: 6.11

//related
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

How It Slips Away: 'The Breaking Point' Crosses Hemingway With Noir

// Short Ends and Leader

"Whether we've seen or read the story before, we ache for these sympathetic, floundering people presented to us gravely and without cynicism, even when cynical themselves.

READ the article