Saturday, September 4, 2010

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

I don't often do album reviews, but when I do... Stay thirsty my friends.

Their first two Arcade Fire albums (do we still call them albums?), Funeral and Neon Bible, were quite good. Many of the songs had an edge, were catchy and let's face it, the band deserves accolades for working in non-traditional instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy, glockenspiel etc. into pop music.

Their third effort The Suburbs leaves something to be desired. It is borderline bland and a bit jaded. It could very well be the background music in the shoe department at Sears. Maybe that is the whole point? The 'burbs are often flat, stale and lacking standout features. It is not a bad album, but pales in comparison to its predecessors. And it is still better than 90% of the drivel we hear on the radio. And then, Levittown is better than Newark...

What is interesting is the "video" that the band made with Google Chrome for "We used to Wait". It brings interactive music to a new level. The song itself is vaguely memorable; the images of the scenes of the birds in full Hitchcock mode alighting on your house is harder to shake. And there's the rub: when the video is better than the song, something is amiss.

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