Day 266: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

21 Nov

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you.   I have never listened to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs before today. There’s only one reason for that, though; I thought that I had listened to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs before today.

I consider myself a fan of le Arcade Fires, and own both Funeral and Neon Bible, two really solid records of theirs.  I was going through my iTunes library today, and saw that The Suburbs was nowhere to be found.  I was initially confused, but the reason for this slowly came back to me.

Lolla 2010.  Arcade Fire was set to close out the fest on the smaller of the main stages, and I was pumped.  But there was a problem–The National were set to play a side stage right before Arcade Fire.  I think I made the right decision.  Knowing I’d be in the middle of nowhere for Arcade Fire’s set, I opted to stay away from The Suburbs before the fest it came out only a few days before the band’s Lolla performance.

So here we are, a year and a half later.  This record was named the Album of the Year at the Grammys, and Arcade Fire has been catapulted into a well-deserved world of recognition and success.

After finally getting around to this much-hyped album, I can’t help but be just a tad underwhelmed.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of solid music on this release. As with both of the band’s previous records, they’re best when playing fast—“Empty Room” and “Month of May” are both examples of guitar (and violin)-heavy awesomeness.  It should also be noted that “We Used To Wait” has one of the coolest music videos of all time—yes, even better than A-Ha’s “Take On Me.”  Ultimately, while the record’s sixteen songs and hour-plus length are a little much, I’d say that Arcade Fire has earned the right to be a tad self-indulgent.

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5 Responses to “Day 266: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs”

  1. Chops On Chops November 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Let’s go downtown and talk to the modern kids
    They will eat right out of your hand
    Using great big words that they don’t understand

    I love that bit. It rings even truer as I sit in my 46th floor perch directly above the Occupy Montreal camp and alternate between admiration and concern for the kids bearing the cold and trying to figure out what they are doing out there as they both fend off and try to help the mentally ill and/or drug addicted homeless population of the city.

    Arcade Fire went for the brass ring with this one and I think they got it. If you keep listening to this one, it will grow on you. To me, this one is a level above the first two albums.

  2. Yuanny Dollar November 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Sorry Mr. Ear. Second best video. A Ha still rules. She actually goes inside the comic book. I rest my case. Nice link to the The National video. That must have been a great set. I guess the question of the day is whether The Arcade Fire makes up for Heart — and don’t tell me Heart is American. I know the truth. Canada is to blame.

    • Dave "Barracuda" Chops November 22, 2011 at 2:20 am #

      “In their early days the group told audiences that they were from Canada,[9] even though all the members of Heart were citizens of the United States and were never permanent residents of Canada.” Filthy, lying Wilson sisters.

  3. Yuanny Dollar November 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    I think they went to Canada to dodge the draft (the boys in the band anyway), so they belong to Canada and go on the Rush side of the scale. And they really tip the scale.

    • Dave Chops November 28, 2011 at 8:39 am #

      Say what you want, J$. Much as their music bugs me, I am unable to hate Rush. They refuse to take themselves as their music would lead you to believe they would. First they got props for doing the theme from the Bob and Doug Mackenzie movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BFPt001PYU then Alex Lifeson cameos on Trailer Park Boys http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQNzwUP3T2k and finally HBO does a documentary on them where they come off as entirely likeable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NWNhUriqTw and various hipsters reveal their Rush fandom. I am not ready to cross over to the dark side but I won’t diss them either.

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