Arcade Fire's Side & Solo Projects
Should it surprise anyone that the latest member of Arcade Fire to release a solo project, Richard Reed Parry, has gone classical with his new release, Music for Heart and Breath? After all, arranger Owen Pallett and other members' work as Bell Orchestre similarly ventured beyond the rocking outer limits of the band proper into more sheet-music territory. Arcade Fire were notable early on for their smartly applied orchestral overlays; you could tell their members weren't limited by Springsteenian rock. Pallett's In Conflict, from earlier this year, has proven the best of these by far, with hints of synths and a great lot of its propulsion and hooks coming from battalions of violin and cello. Parry and Bell Orchestre are even further from pop, trying their hands at more scholarly pursuits. It makes it all the more rewarding that these eggheads return every few years to put down the conductor's wand and make a wondrous racket as purveyors of U2-sized indie anthems.