Album Review: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Arcade Fire

by Carly Moore

Arcade Fire has done it again. With the release of their third album, The Suburbs, the band has aimed high for a positive reaction, and has succeeded. Since the release date on August  2  in the United Kingdom and  August 3 in the United States, Arcade Fire has been blowing up the album charts.  The album  premiered at the top of the Irish, UK, and Canadian Album Charts and the U.S. Billboard 200.

This excellent sixteen-track album alters between upbeat and cheerful (“Sprawl II”) to more subdued and low-key (“Wasted Hours”).  My personal favorite, “Ready to Start” displays both aspects with its positive beat, yet withdrawn lyrics.

Prior to hearing “Ready to Start,”  I was not a huge Arcade Fire listener. I knew a few songs from previous albums, Funeral and Neon Bible such as “Wake Up” and “Rebellion (Lies)”. I was first turned onto the indie rockers after hearing “Wake Up,” which was featured in the hit motion picture, Where the Wild Things Are.
Arcade Fire has that mellow sound of Band of Horses, and the lively beats of LCD Soundsystem, which creates a lovely mix. Band mates include Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Richard Reed Parry, William Butler, Tim Kingsbury, Sarah Neufield, and Jeremy Gara. Together, they have been able to design a new face for success through obvious indie-snob bashing lyrics and diverse instrumental sounds in The Suburbs.

This summer, after first listening to “Ready to Start,” I was instantly hooked. “Ready to Start” can be com- pared to Funeral’s “Rebellion (Lies).”

Lead singer, Win Butler sings the powerful lyrics to the songs chorus, “If I was scared, I would/And if I was bored, you know I would/And if I was yours, but I’m not.”

According to a review from Interference, Butler thrived on memories from his past to write the lyrics that make up The Suburbs, which reflect in “Ready to Start.”

Soon after the albums release date, I decided that I’d give Arcade Fire a shot and purchase the album. I can assure you, I was very impressed. The Suburbs features tracks that use flashy keyboards and big drums, which can create a riveting crowd-pleaser.  In “We Used to Wait” Arcade Fire fuses interesting keyboarding with a light sound of drums to produce a powerful track. The Suburbs has two tracks that are split into two (“Half Light I”, “Half Light II” and “Sprawl I”, “Sprawl II”). The first of the two display the cheerful beat and long instrumental breaks. The second of the two show the more dismal setting of the track that lets the listener become more in-touch with Butler’s mind.

Butler’s wife, Régine Chassagne, makes a keen appearance in a few tracks including “Rococo.” In this track the Montreal natives sing about mocking the untamable, modern day kids. The mood can send the listener into an enthusiastic frenzy.

If you have put faith in Arcade Fire before, then The Suburbs will not let you down. If you really enjoyed Funeral and Neon Bible then you are in luck. The Suburbs is even better. Arcade Fire has soared from their early days of success to bring you a completely different path by devising The Suburbs. This album has increased my liking for Arcade Fire and I am sure that it will do the same thing for you.

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