Album 0462: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

ArcadeFire-TheSuburbs

Release Date: 2010
Genre: Indie Rock

Tracklisting:

1. The Suburbs (05:15)
2. Ready To Start (04:16)
3. Modern Man (04:40)
4. Rococo (03:57)
5. Empty Room (02:52)
6. City With No Children (03:12)
7. Half Light I (04:14)
8. Half Light II (No Celebration) (04:27)
9. Suburban War (04:45)
10. Month Of May (03:51)
11. Wasted Hours (03:21)
12. Deep Blue (04:28)
13. We Used To Wait (05:01)
14. Sprawl I (Flatland) (02:54)
15. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) (05:26)
16. The Suburbs (Continued) (01:28)
17. Culture War (05:24)
18. Speaking In Tongues (03:52)
19. Wasted Hours (A Life That We Can Live) (04:26)

Total Length: 01:17:47

The Suburbs starts with a sound that has become all too familiar. A positive-feeling beat, some piano, and acoustic guitar behind it all. It’s kind of standard now, even if it does sound somewhat nice. The vocals are pretty boring though, like there’s no energy. The song just kind of plods on until it ends, being pleasant but unrewarding. Ready To Start is a much better track, like the album itself wasn’t ready to start until this track (I bet plenty other people have said this line). The vocals are more energetic as well, and there is an atmosphere akin to The Protomen that is nice to hear.

Modern Man is pretty good as well, and continues on the lyrical theme that is all-present on this album, about modern conveniences and the way things used to be, but also set in the future. I’m not big on lyrics in general, but these work pretty well. Rococo is pretty fantastic simply for the little Zappa-esque melody in the chorus. It’s so catchy and incredible to hear that it saves the song from being boring single-handedly. The instrumentation is pretty cool as well.

Empty Room has a few faults in it, but not enough that I can overlook what is there. It brings in a much needed variation to the vocals and gives the song a bunch of life from it. City With No Children however goes the opposite direction. The music is boring, and the vocals go back to being lifeless. Half Light I is basically a big long intro for the next track, but it’s not bad. I like the guitar and the slight climb the song has. Half Light II (No Celebration) is nice but it feels like more of a collection than a song. As in, it doesn’t feel as if there’s a point once it’s over.

Suburban War is kind of boring until the last minute or so, that bit I do enjoy. Month Of May is absolute trash. I can’t stand it. Some of the same complaints as before, but now with a loud, generic guitar riff over the whole thing repeatedly. Wasted Hours is nice and has this ‘homey’ feel, like being somewhere you haven’t been in years. Deep Blue has some neat bits to it, but it takes a while to get there. I wish it were better. We Used To Wait is fairly good, and again the song gets best right at the end. It’s not like I don’t want them to have climaxes, but to introduce the most interesting elements at the end makes me hate listening to the first 3/4 of the song.

Sprawl I (Flatland) is decent but kind of boring. It’s kind of shocking then, that Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) is far and away the best track on the album. It’s catchy, upbeat, with somewhat ambiguous lyrics. It’s mood screams like it’s out of the 80s, but it could have only been done in modern times. It’s still got the band’s style, and is not just a pop song. It’s beautiful and it surprises me every time I hear it with the rest of the album preceeding it. The Suburbs (Continued) however is one of the worst tracks on here. Sure, it’s short but I’m bored ten seconds in.

Culture War falls into the same trap as before. The first few minutes are boring, and they do themselves a disservice in my opinion for not letting the song feel fuller. Speaking In Tongues is a bonus track, and to me it is quite boring. To associate this song with Talking Heads in anyway is a crime, even though there are other parts of this album where I wouldn’t have minded that connection. Wasted Hours (A Life That We Can Live) is an extended version of the track from before. The new ending is cool, but nothing I miss and regret them taking out from the standard product.

Final Rating: 7/10

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