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