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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this album is a treasure chest of emotions and worldly perspective. The words are brutally honest and sometimes depressing ("A vial of hope and a vial of pain/In the light they both looked the same" and "I'm standing on a stage/Of fear and self-doubt"), but the dark messages are lifted by beautiful, soaring instrumentals and interesting sounds. Once you get past the influx of intense reactions to the government, church, military, and basic rights of the common man, you'll be happy to know that profanity, sexism, and commercialism aren't an issue on this album.
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What's the story?
Most of NEON BIBLE is peppered with self-righteous chants that sometimes come off as paranoid (\"I can't breathe! I can't see!/World War III, when are you coming for me?\"). Cathartic melodies and edgy emotional lyrics make for a provocative, inspirational mix, but \"No Cars Go\" is where Neon Bible reaches its climax. Vocalists earnestly repeat \"between the click of the light and the star of the dream.\" The song wants to bring optimism and a sense of lightheartedness (\"Women and children let's go/Old folks let's go/Don't know where we're going\"). The epic, melodic undertones save the song \"Keep the Car Running\" from its intense lyrics (\"Men are coming to take me away,\" \"eight pressing down,\" and \"I can't swim across a river so deep\").
Is it any good?
The Montreal-bred, eight-piece band dives into an abyss of brooding lyrics successfully by surrounding each song with lush sounds and beautiful, soaring instrumentals, like the hopeful vocals in "Antichrist Television Blues" and "Black Wave." Neon Bible is also top-rate thanks to samples from church pipe organs, a military choir, Calexico horns, and a hurdy-gurdy (fiddle)