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Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 75 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth full-length release for Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire is its final one with Will Butler, who left the band after the album was completed.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. 100
    WE is their sixth album, and every bit as good as their best. ... With a work as ambitious and boldly realised as WE, Arcade Fire know they have nothing to fear by inviting comparison to rock’s all-time greats.
  2. May 6, 2022
    90
    It’s clear that these songs have a real and sincere heart, designed to both stir and soothe the soul in one fell swoop.
  3. 80
    A welcome return to form.
  4. May 4, 2022
    70
    Nothing here quite scratches the itch of both emotional catharsis and rapturous splendour the way Arcade Fire's best songs do, but after a few initial attempts at capturing our collective panic and frustration, they have finally managed to pull it off by seeing themselves as part of the problem, by putting themselves in the line of fire, and by sharing the coping strategies and counterarguments that get them through and putting them into song.
  5. May 6, 2022
    70
    While not as immediately accessible as the all-star run of their first three albums, WE will at least be a course-corrector for fans still alienated by Everything Now and the underrated Reflektor, a satisfying journey that realigns the band's heart and soul.
  6. May 9, 2022
    60
    As a whole, WE is a fairly good album and would be better received if it wasn’t an Arcade Fire album.
  7. May 6, 2022
    30
    It opens with a piano motif that could’ve come straight from Chris Martin’s candle-scented fingers. The matching vocals are so annoyingly whispered, they practically qualify as ASMR. Halfway through, the song changes tack and starts courting the modern market for anxiety pop. ... More specifically, it makes you think, “Does this sound like a needy Mercury Rev, a ham-fisted Grandaddy, or Wings without the easy-going self-awareness?

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. May 6, 2022
    10
    Awesome album, their best in a decade. Highlights are Age of Anxiety I, End of The Empire I-IV, The Lightning I-II, and Unconditional II (RaceAwesome album, their best in a decade. Highlights are Age of Anxiety I, End of The Empire I-IV, The Lightning I-II, and Unconditional II (Race and Religion). Expand
  2. May 6, 2022
    10
    This record is incredibly beautiful, powerful and so purposeful. One of the bests albums to come out in the last 10 years.
  3. May 6, 2022
    10
    This is among their best works. Thoughtful, even dark, lyrics with well constructed music. Very theatrical in a sense. I am sure will dislikeThis is among their best works. Thoughtful, even dark, lyrics with well constructed music. Very theatrical in a sense. I am sure will dislike that theatricality but I enjoyed it. Expand
  4. May 6, 2022
    9
    I can hear a lot of 80s influences on this record, following the path that "Everything Now" took. There are also a lot of sounds coming backI can hear a lot of 80s influences on this record, following the path that "Everything Now" took. There are also a lot of sounds coming back from previous records, like Neon Bible, The Suburbs, Reflektor.

    This album reminds me a lot of "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd as well. This album feels very personal and talks about topics very relevant today. Highlights for me would be "Age of Anxiety I-II", "End of the Empire I-IV".

    "The Lightnight I-II" are also great, and I can see why they chose those tracks as the singles. The only track that disappointed me was the last track. I give this 9/10
    Expand
  5. May 6, 2022
    8
    This was essentially the album I was hoping for from Arcade Fire. It has the poignant lows, but there’s enough uplift and spirit to keep youThis was essentially the album I was hoping for from Arcade Fire. It has the poignant lows, but there’s enough uplift and spirit to keep you smiling grooving. The opening and closing tracks are wonderful, but for me it’s “Unconditional(Lookout Kid)” that really shines here. Infectious vocal hook, and just builds so nicely and then finishes impeccably, with some well placed vocal inflections. A solid 8 record, that may go to a 9 after repeated listens. Expand
  6. May 15, 2022
    8
    Perhaps the hardest arcade fire album to rate. If you compare this album to their first four albums this one surely doesn’t measure up. If youPerhaps the hardest arcade fire album to rate. If you compare this album to their first four albums this one surely doesn’t measure up. If you compare it to the blunder that was everything now it seems like the best album ever made. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. The songwriting is solid but the mixing style was somewhat of a head scratch (especially given it was Nigel Godrich who produced it). Win has never been a phenomenal singer and his lyrics can come off as clunky at times, but those shortcomings were always easy to overlook with the raw energy and gorgeous textures that were always the true stars in the music. The choice to bury these things in mix was an unfortunate one. Despite this it is still a welcome comeback from a band that changed in my mind what good music should sound like. Expand
  7. May 10, 2022
    3
    WE comes across as a desperate attempt to course correct from the glorified-high-school-term-paper that was Everything Now. And like EN, thereWE comes across as a desperate attempt to course correct from the glorified-high-school-term-paper that was Everything Now. And like EN, there are a few standout tracks that sadly can only serve as brief reminders of the electric verve that used to saturate AF albums. But their once-invigorating DIY bombast has steadily given way to bland disco-inspired synth beats and mopey, mumblecore vocals. Like any group of artists coming off of a devastating career low, one can forgive their desire to play it safe. But what craters this album is that their creative defensive crouch is inversely proportional to the thermostat-shattering self-regard in which Arcade Fire increasingly seems to hold itself. Each song practically screams "THIS IS AN IMPORTANT SUBJECT THAT WE ARE MAKING A PROFOUND STATEMENT ON." Which, whether you agree with their stance or not, is about as enjoyable as listening to your pompous uncle pontificate on the root causes of Trumpism over Thanksgiving dinner. That said, the real tragedy at this juncture is that Arcade Fire now sounds like a lot of other music already out there. Maybe this is partly because of the band's influence, but it's also because AF has abandoned so much of the tempestuous, pulse-pounding, go-for-broke, throw-it-all-against-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks style that made them such a force of nature in the first place. As such, I can't help but read the other Butler brother's quitting the band as a lost plea to return to their roots, rather than preach and pander.

    **** I miss when this band was fun.
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See all 29 User Reviews