Arcade Fire, the go-to band for indie kids everywhere, have a fair amount of success for such an off-beat act, both in their native Canada and internationally. So, there were a lot of musical expectations and skinny-jeaned hopes hanging on the release of their third studio album. And we think The Suburbs might just have hit all those expectations out of the park.

It feels like the record is well suited to it’s name, because there’s nothing loud or too out-there on it, but there’s an electric undercurrent of moodiness and intimacy on tracks like “Rococo.” This works well with songs like “Empty Room” that almost take flight, to form a perfect suburb of music – the address? Awesomeville. The mayors? Arcade Fire.

NPR said that: “Arcade Fire’s biggest strength, and its most compelling appeal, has always been its gift for crafting songs that are epic but intimate,” and you’ll hear that immediately on the opening title track that trundles along happily like the opening score of a family movie, but has pertinent lyrics about wanting to break down walls and get out when you still can – it’s a Springsteen-esque sentiment for the modern day. Similar tracks include “Ready To Start” and “Modern Man.”

But as per most idyllic scenes, there’s an undercurrent of something else and “Suburban War” and “Sprawl I (Flatland)” sound darker and less sprawling than the other tracks.

At first listen, The Suburbs appears to be missing any hooks or something for your memory to latch on to but, well, Arcade Fire would be a predictable pop band if they sounded like that and we’d probably like them a lot less. So, the recommendation goes that if you’re new to Arcade Fire, to give the album a couple of spins and let the character of the concept record come latch on to you, because it definitely will. And if you’re an old fan, you’ve probably bought the album already anyway.

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  • AndyBankin
    AndyBankin on

    Neon Bible was better!

  • Dan McMahon
    Dan McMahon on

    So was Funeral

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