Review: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Arcade Fire are a band whose bandwagon I missed. I knew the odd song, I’d heard their name, but I had never listened to them fully, despite generally enjoying their genre of music. So I came into The Suburbs with a fresh head, not really knowing what to expect.

So I’m going to talk about the tone, the flow and the stand out tracks of this album.

Tone-wise, this album has the feeling that with a quick switch of a key, it could be the happiest, cheesiest album you have ever heard. But somehow the Quebecois band keep a great deal of darkness and sadness in their songs, which sets them apart from the rest of the indie rock out there. Fantastic rousing music paired with eerie vocals to keep it in check. Like true indie.

Having said this, I have noticed that they genre hop quite a bit throughout the album. They can go from sounding very QOTSA in songs like ‘Month of May’ to sounding like U2 in their early days in songs like “City With No Children’.

Flow is very important for an album like this, especially if you are attempting the adventurous. Being 64 minutes long, its no mean feat that they have managed to make this album fly by. Carefully placing the strongest songs has helped a great deal, with album title track ‘The Suburbs’ opening the album superbly. Twice they elect to create a part I and II to songs to help the flow of an album that could have dragged at such a length.

Then they return to a reprise of ”The Suburbs’ to conclude the album, creating a perfect way to close the album by turning it full circle.

Thinking about it, if you live in a suburban area, you wake up there, go to work, and you finish your day there, which is what Arcade Fire have done. In between the opening and closing tracks, they talk about being in the city, working on albums and wasting hours, waiting to get back to the suburbs at the end of the day.

Before you notice it, Arcade Fire have lead you through the day in the suburbs from dusk ’til dawn. Before you have time to wipe the sleep from your eyes, your head is back on your pillow.

Arcade Fire – City With No Children

The Suburbs is out August 2nd, you can get it here


6 Responses to “Review: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs”

  1. @ink here there all Arcade Fire tracks in mp3.
    The suburbs, ready to start, modern man, rococo, all. Enjoy.

  2. ehh..these guys copy from every great band in history. i think The national do this to an extent, but they are much better than these hacks?

    Win Butler is a jerk. Regine is a beatch. It seeps through in their music. Regine blatantly rips MGMT in Sprawl II…it’s disgusting. And then AF consciously and manipulatively turn the same song into an ABBA song. really. this is not being innovative. The media want you to think this is the greatest music ever heard so they can help a failing industry. Let it burn!

  3. Nice review! It’s interesting seeing other people’s interpretations. I agree with your comments about flow. I can listen to it over and over without even realising. The last track feeds perfectly into the first if you have the album on repeat. I just wrote my own review of the The Suburbs and I’m looking for feedback if you’re interested. I love the album. I think it’s going to be one of my all-time favourites.



  4. […] Arcade Fire – The Suburbs [review] The Suburbs takes the listener through a journey that anyone can relate to. Only a band of Arcade […]

  5. […] releasing The Suburbs, Arcade Fire have been stunning crowds over and over in 2010 with their incredibly energetic, […]

  6. […] The Suburbs, which has catapulted the band into mainstream adoration to the same level of their cult…, will be released with the bumper extras on June 27th. The two new tracks are called ‘Culture War’ and ‘Speaking in Tongues’ (which features David Byrne), and you can stream them below. […]

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