The Suburbs

Studio Album by released in 2010

The Suburbs review

The Arcade Fire’s new ideas

The Canadian band The Arcade Fire was formed by spouse-musicians Win Butler and Regina Chassagne, and several talented multi-instrumentalists joined them. The most varied instruments have been always involved in their music: violin, cello, viola, glockenspiel, accordion, harp, hurdy-gurdy and others – it is with them that those splendid monumental compositions are created. Although The Arcade Fire’s works are normally related to indie rock, there are some pop music elements in them combined with church and Gothic motifs, and the end product always results to be integral and complete. The Arcade Fire’s second album Neon Bible has confirmed the debut record’s Funeral success and demonstrated a more professional approach to work. Supporting the album the band went on a world tour that had lasted a year; the musicians have visited 19 countries during that time. Yet some new ideas wanted being embodied and this year the third album The Suburbs is finally ready. It is a great Neon Bible continuation, exciting and sage at the same time.

Each track on The Suburbs has its own zest

Unlike the relatively short previous record the album The Suburbs exceeds one hour in its length, offering 16 tracks to your attention each of which has its own zest. One could check that out already at the end of May when the first single The Suburbs with a B-side Month Of May were released. These are two completely different songs promising that the record proves to be interesting and not devoid of surprises. The first one is a rather romantic, mid-tempo reflective ballad, another is a heavy rock number with emotional vocals. Modern Man presents one of the most complicated tracks on the album with a changeable breaking rhythm and melody built on half-tones. The instrumental variety can be well traced on a melancholic composition Rococo and the emotional City With No Children with a contagious percussion and smart lyrics. Two parts of the same track, Half Light I and Half Light II (No Celebration) also conquer with a wonderfully melodious and rich instrumental background, the second one shining with an unexpected danceable rhythm, whereas it is the guitar chords that will charm you on Suburban War. Another track with a continuation Sprawl (Flatland) and Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) differ from each other with rhythm and mood: the first one is slow and thoughtful, while the second one is impetuous and joyful. The album closes with a short addition to the title track The Suburbs (Continued), the most beautiful and gentlest piece on the album.

To the past for an hour

Undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of The Arcade Fire’s third album is the lyrics. The album’s title is explained by the fact that the band founders grew up in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, and they have a lot to remember. Win sings of his hopes and fears, remembers what he and his friends thought about at that time and fills his narration with deep thoughts and strong emotions. For an hour the listener finds himself in the world of past, breathes the same air, thinks on the same problems, feels bored, falls in love, breaks up with his beloved, looks for a job and loses it, enjoys himself and suffers. Musically The Suburbs is rich and interesting as both of the previous records although it does not have much of that orchestra monumentality but each song is a finished story in itself and can be easily listened to out of the album’s context. Obviously the musicians take their work rather seriously and this work is the best way to confirm that: there is no trace of the debut record’s crudeness and spontaneity here. If you have just heard of The Arcade Fire, then The Suburbs is really the best album to start your acquaintance with this unique collective.