There's a desperate earnestness to the lyrics ("Workin' for the church while your family dies" on the majesterial "Intervention") that might be embarrassing if not for the vulnerability behind Win Butler's delivery; each soaring chorus sounds as if he's choking back tears. From the hard-driving first single, "Keep the Car Running":
Every night my dream’s the sameThe band has seemingly used every instrument but the washboard on this recording, and their sound especially benefits from the monster pipe organ the band members found in their church-house recording facility just outside Montreal. The band also utilize a stand-up bass, keyboards, mandolin, violins, horns, and a harmonium, in addition to their standard guitar-bass-drums lineup. The production, by the band members themselves, is meticulous but not slick. What Neon Bible lacks in the explosive energy of Funeral, it manages to compensate for with great hooks, surprising instrumentation, and expansive bombast. I don't know if I'll ever love it as much as I love Funeral, but this is a very strong sophomore release, and it's certain to show up in a lot of end-of-the-year top ten lists. Believe the inevitable hype.
Same old city with a different name
Men are coming to take me away
I don’t know why but I know I can’t stay
Keep the car running