From the Vault...


Arcade Fire
"The Suburbs"

© Merge Records

Year of Release: 2010

track listing
  • The Suburbs
  • Ready To Start
  • Modern Man
  • Rococo
  • Empty Room
  • City With No Children
  • Half Light I
  • Half Light II
    (No Celebration)
  • Suburban War
  • Month Of May
  • Wasted Hours
  • Deep Blue
  • We Used To Wait
  • Sprawl I (Flatland)
  • Sprawl II
    Beyond Mountains)
  • The Suburbs (Continued)

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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    Arcade Fire
    "The Suburbs"

    2010 - by this time, and afterwards, the Billboard 200 Albums chart has been dominated by R&B, Hip Hop and Rap albums reaching #1. However, here and there, an actual Rock album surfaces at the top of the chart. In 2010, the band Arcade reached #1 with their release, The Suburbs. (It would be their first album at #1; they have had three so far). Arcade Fire is from Canada, being an Indie Rock band. Not often do you see an Indie Rock album reach #1. And, it brings a highlight away from the typical R&B/Rap albums reaching #1. As for The Suburbs, the album defines a different kind of Rock, remember, it's Indie Rock. A new approach, a new band to recognize and notice. The Suburbs was Arcade Fire's third studio album released. It would win Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards.

    Bandmember William Butler described this album as a "mix of Depeche Mode and Neil Young." Well yes, the opening title track, "The Suburbs" sounds more of an "off" Neil Young style. It is a song that I could hear him record. (However, in my opinion, the rest of the album is not compared to Neil.) A little of Depeche Mode, yes, yet I really didn't keep up on DM's music in their heyday. The title track tune is good, and has a good start to the album. "Ready To Start" kinda sounds a bit like Tom Petty's "American Girl," another good track. "Modern Man" keeps the album going, with its good Rock sound. "Rococo" sounds dark, and compared to the darker songs of Kurt Cobbain and Nirvana. "Empty Room" has another good Rock sound, compared to U2. "City With No Children" is also good - Compared to Depeche Mode and U2 (?) It does have an 80's style.

    "Half Light I" is definitely theatrical, great orchestration. Flaming Lips'ish. "Half Light II (No Celebration)" does have the 80's comparison. New Order, Depeche Mode, even U2. "Suburban Way" is another great tune, compared to Echo & The Bunnymen ("Killing Moon"); of which this band was also compared to U2. "Month Of May" -- is just WOW. Punk'ish. Definitely different than previous songs... Actually, each song has its own uniqueness, as each song gets better and better...) "Wasted Hours" is catchy Pop. "Deep Blue" is another catchy Pop tune,

    "We Used To Wait" brings back the great Rock sound again, as heard in the beginning of the album, but not to the two "catchy Pop" tunes. "Sprawl I" is a slow sounding tune, yet it still keeps this album outstanding. It's another mellow song, that Bono and U2 could have recorded also. However, the vocals on "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" takes a whole different approach, catching off-guard. With that mentioned, this song could probably be the least to mention. But, this track doesn't make the album bad; as mentioned, each song holds its own uniqueness and greatness - easily seeing how this album took the Grammy home, for Best Album of the Year.

    Ending the album, is "The Suburbs (Continued)" - a softer toned song, great orchestration. The vocals a little eerie, mysterious. Yet its a short song, and it leaves you hanging for more. But.... That doesn't make it bad... Arcade Fire's The Suburbs is a great album... It's an album of adventure. This album is highly recommended. It has given the music fan a thirst for something different, and that thirst is well overdue. Every song has it's own uniqueness and vibrant style, making fans looking for that certain something, and having a hard time finding it. But that find is finally found... The Suburbs is an award-winning album, and it definitely shows. There were six singles from this album: "The Suburbs/Month Of May," "We Used To Wait," "Ready To Start," "City With No Children," "Speaking In Tongues" (which appeared on the album's Deluxe version), and "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)."

    Arcade Fire's next two albums would also reach #1: Reflektor (2013) and Everything Now (2017). Their next recording was a film score in 2021, Her. As for the "mix of Depeche Mode and Neil Young" -- I would argue, that this is not the case. It has a comparison more to another band, U2. And, being compared to U2 should be a compliment, especially during the peak years of U2's popularity.

    But finally, we can actually recommend an excellent, and more recent "newer" album -- Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. It's been 11 years since this album, and it hasn't lost its touch and style, compared to today's least favorable music, of R&B/Hip Hop/Rap. If you have yet to hear The Suburbs, get it. Listen to it. It's a breath of fresh air, and as the end of the last track fades, you still want more. So, go back and listen to this album again, and you will discover its greatness even more, and again.

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