Quick Review (LP): The Suburbs by The Arcade Fire

arcade fire the suburbs The Arcade Fire
The Suburbs
Merge; 2010

My Rating: B+

Best Tracks: “The Suburbs”, “Ready to Start”, “City With No Children”, “Suburban War”, “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Montains)”

I can’t make up my mind about this record. On one hand, it’s undeniably a strong album, but on the other hand, I want more than strong albums from The Arcade Fire. I want more like “Sprawl II (Mountain Beyond Mountains)” and less like “Month of May.” I want more Regine on vocals and less Win. I want more quiet and melodic and less overwrought bombast. If this band can make one of the greatest rock records of all time (Funeral), then it can make another one. All of this being said, there are some great tracks here, of which the title track and the aforementioned “Sprawl II” are the best and will probably both find their way onto my year end best tracks list. There is plenty of emotional resonance here but too much reliance on the wall of sound and some filler as well. The Arcade Fire is banging their head on the wall of sound at this point, and it is time for them to break out of it and find some greener pastures.

Pitchfork review
Paste review
Metacritic reviews
Band website