Arcade Fire album The Suburbs

A few weeks back I was sitting on a stationary bike reading a random issue of Rolling Stone that magically appeared in my mailbox without address, postage, or any indication as to how it appeared there.  So I sat there, cycling in place, reading how Rolling Stone thinks that Arcade Fire is the new Radiohead and I couldn’t help but laugh.  I had a good chuckle, really, and I found myself assured that it was articles like this that kept me from ever subscribing to Rolling Stone.  I’m sure they’re a fine group of writers, they probably all have families, etc. (oh, and they seem to love to give everything a polished shining review no matter how middling an album it is), but I just don’t agree with what they say.

For starters, the new album by Arcade Fire, The Suburbs (amazon) (itunes), sounds nothing like Radiohead.  Nothing like them at all.  What the new Arcade Fire does sound like is the eighties.  And if you want to be more specific it sounds like a modern era Bruce Springsteen filtered through eighties sensibilities.  And this is almost always what Arcade Fire has been.  They write stories about real life, growing up, moving to the suburbs, having an existential quarter life crisis, and moving on.  And to be blunt they do a damn fine job of it.

mp3 : Arcade Fire – Rococo
mp3 : Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

I have also read grumblings that “this isn’t what we wanted from Arcade Fire” and I simply don’t understand this sentiment.  It’s as if there exists an extremely vocal minority that keeps screaming for an entire album made up of songs that sound exactly like Wake Up.  If you enter The Suburbs thinking that way you will leave disappointed.  You need to enter looking for the natural evolution of one of the most talented bands on the planet.

+ more Arcade Fire @ twf hype elbows site myspace amazonmp3 itunes
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2 thoughts on “Arcade Fire album The Suburbs”

  1. Hear hear! Well said.

    I’m not sure how I feel about the Radiohead comparison. To me, the defining characteristic of Yorke, Greenwood, and Co. has always been that each album is a distinct departure from the last in terms of aural texture.

    The shifts in style from album to album for Arcade Fire are nowhere near as pronounced, but you certainly can trace a “natural evolution” as you put it.


  2. Hey, love your blog but you hurt me by only posting once a month or so. However you have been quite good recently, its been ages since a post. Totally understand that you are super busy, but we need you too!!!


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