Monday, December 23, 2013

Pitchfork List: Arcade Fire's The Suburbs

Arcade Fire created a stir with their recent release Reflektor, and not just because of the album itself, but because of their request that concert-goers where more formal wear for the event. It took away from the fact this is a band with some talent, and some good songs to find, even if the most recent isn't the strongest. One of their more well-received albums is Suburbs.

History: The album was received well by critics, and had mostly positive reviews. It also topped several charts in many countries after it's release. The album itself is about living in the suburbs, and it does it in a way that is neither loving or hating, but more of a realistic experience. The album also received award nominations ranging from smaller awards to the Grammy awards, where it would win for Album of the year.

Vocals: The vocalist mostly include the male vocals, but sometimes the songs are female led. It makes for a diverse vibe on the album that is rarely found, but one that could alienate as well. The male vocalist has a bit of a deeper voicing, and it flows well with all the songs it is set to. The female voice is the complete opposite though with a lighter more delicate approach to the lyrics. "We Used to Wait" was an interesting display of the vocals.

Instrumentals: The instrumentals are very unique with a touch of folk and a bit of electronic through into the vibe. I think what held me back a bit from the album was the hopes that it would just become more electronic, because the moments it shined most is when they did throw in the more electronic music. Outside of guitars, drums, and bass the other musicians on the album contribute a wide range of instruments including a saxophone, and other brass arrangements. The album does have a magical feel.

Recording: The album was recorded in 2010. I believe that the album utilizes enough of other genres from a variety of time that the recording is just something that is quite like anything else. It's a bit of fun, but serious. Personally, there is something about Funeral that hits more at the emotions where The Suburbs didn't though. There were moments I felt the songs building, and then something just stalls before it takes me over into listening longer to the tune without straying from the emotions it gave at first.

I remember the year that Arcade Fire won the Grammy for this album, and the next day I heard people asking who Arcade Fire was? This album did rocket the band from the position of at least being asked that as much as this album did give everyone a general idea of who they were. The sounds never get extreme, but it's a solid enough album to peak anyone's interest.

Rating 7 of 10.

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