|Arcade Fire's shock Grammy win left them jumping for joy.|
So as you may know by now, this is more of a retrospective review. The Suburbs, came out back in 2011 and led to Arcade Fire's national prominence after a shock Album of the Year win at the 2011 Grammys, leaving most teenage kids in confusion as they could not comprehend the sheer indie-ness they were listening to. Frontman Win (fittingly named) Butler, coolly responded to the mass hysteria experienced by tone-deaf teenagers by simply saying, "We're called Arcade Fire — check it out on Google."
To simply state, The Suburbs is a fantastic album that manages to distil the anguish and isolation felt by countless numbers of people who decide to shift lifestyles and settle down in a simple neighbourhood far away from the insanity of a cityscape.
The album begins with two fantastic tracks, "The Suburbs" and "Ready to Start". A torn lover is faced with the harsh cruel realities of life that he/she faces. These two tracks sum up some of the main messages conveyed throughout the album. In some ways this album could be considered a concept album in that it ties together a central theme of alienation and loneliness felt by humans. Other tracks of note include the frenetically paced "Month of May", the loss in "Suburban War", the cruel harshness of time in "We Used to Wait", the closeted optimism and rejection of the suburbs of "Sprawl II: Mountains beyond Mountains", and the isolation of "Modern Man".
From a musical standpoint, this album continues the trends seen in Arcade Fire's previous effort, Neon Bible. A variety of different types of instruments are used as well as numerous vocalists, whether lead or backing. Small flourishes of electric guitar or synthesizers, add to the albums grandiose feeling.
Simply put, this is one of the best albums of the decade, and in my personal opinion is the best album that Arcade Fire have ever put out on shelves. Such a shame however, that mindless pop is what gets the most recognition in the minds of the average person, as we have such beautiful music that for the most part goes unrecognised, but thankfully, not in this case.