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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.