Communication Breakdown: Arcade Fire, The Suburbs

by Cassandra Mullinix. 0 Comments

I know I promised that the next post would be a download on this past weekend’s FredRock experience, but I wanted to squeeze in this bit of rock music news first, so as to give my FredRock post as much “front page” time as possible.  What can I say; the last two weeks have been a flurry of music activity around here, but seriously look for the FredRock review tomorrow.


Anyway, on with the info… Yes!  The new Arcade Fire album entitled The Suburbs is officially out today.  This album is the third in a series of so far exemplary indie rock compilations from the Canadian group.  My preorder came in the mail last Friday so I’ve had a little while to listen to it and gather a few thoughts.  I was a fan of Funeral and Neon Bible straight away, but this one took a solid undivided listen or two before I recognized its greatness.  One of the first things that you’ll notice if your familiar with the last two albums is that The Suburbs is much more “even keel” in sound.  In general all the songs are in the more up-tempo spectrum of Arcade Fire songs.  The heterogeneity makes the album sound less dynamic overall than the others on first listen, but after a spin or two you start discovering the complexity with in each song and the nuances that really give you a feeling of life in the suburbs.  There is a nice progression from track 1 (The Suburbs) to track 6 (City With No Children) which characterizes a mental progression of thoughts that probably all suburban youths go through.  Track 1 is a declaration of everyday life in the suburbs, next the songs proceed deeper and deeper into these thoughts about exploring the city and city life from the perspective of a suburban outsider and then the album seems to go back into reflection about suburban life after having this city experience.  Well, at least that’s what it inspires me to think about on listen.  This could be due to my own life experiences, but at the very least I think Arcade Fire have done an amazing job with this concept album.  I believe the band also pushed their comfort zone a bit with this release, incorporating some now trendy elements such as classic guitar riffs, 80’s beat mixes and sound effects, and even a tinge of lo-fi fuzz here and there.  I wouldn’t expect anything less from them though being that they are an amazing band.  Win Butler takes the lead on most songs on this album, but Régine Chassagne shines on Sprawl II (Mountains beyond Mountains).  All and all, don’t be afraid to pick up The Suburbs if you’re an Arcade Fire fan.  If you want a song by song breakdown, check out the Pitchfork review or the Stereogum pre-release review .

TODAY ONLY: Get the MP3 Album for 3.99 at Amazon

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