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Arcade Fire/The Suburbs

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 30000008-04:00 12 by marky7235

The Suburbs

Arcade Fire is an indie rock band based in Montreal, Québec, Canada, and fronted by the husband and wife duo of Win Butler and Regine Chassagne. In addition to instrument mainstays guitar, drums and bass guitar, members play piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard, French horn, accordion, harp, mandolin and hurdy-gurdy. The band takes most of their instruments on tour, and the multi-instrumentalist band members switch instrumental duties throughout their shows.

Arcade Fire has won numerous awards, including both the Meteors 2008 Best International Album award and the Juno Awards 2008 Alternative Album of the Year award for Neon Bible. It has also been nominated for the Best Alternative Music Album Grammy in 2005 for Funeral and in 2008 for Neon Bible. Arcade Fire released their third studio album, The Suburbs, in 2010 to further critical acclaim.

The Suburbs—-Wow….the beginning of this really surprises me with a nice flowing Alt-Country sound that puts a remarkable smile on my face. This is piano heavy and delivered with a slight hint of blues. Win delivers a vocal that is so pleasant but containing a nice underlying sadness that sucks you into the song. this will stay in your brain….although the piano never leaves the song, there is a wonderful underlying string orchestration that rounds out the song perfectly. Lyrically, this is poignant and full of looks back at life and the wonderment of what is ahead.

Ready To Start—-Returning to a sound that is much more predictable and signature, the band is in full Alt-rocking mode from the onset of this track. The vocal enters and is delivered smooth as silk. this is a large song…full of sounds that provoke a melancholy mired in an odd elation. this is fantastic..I can’t get enough of this…I have missed this band…the return was worth the wait.

Modern Man—-One would be hard presses to believe that this band was not british….the band has a remarkable Brit-Pop sound to almost all of the songs they deliver. This vocal is so nice…lazy at times, occasionally reaching into the upper registers but always accessible and irresistable. This is so damn pleasant, I listened to it three times before moving on to the next track. This is brilliant….the Fire is back in fine form.

Rococo—-With a magical swirling cascade of instruments, the vocal enters and sounds like a lost track from The Neon Bible. This is so pleasant and accessible…I find myself wishing every single person could experience the gentle flowing music that wraps itself around the vocal of Win. There is an underlying sadness that pervades the song…further enhanced by the addition of Regina on the chorus. The song builds and builds…with a nice upbeat but sad crash towards the center of the track…who writes stuff like this? Thank God someone does!!!

Empty Room—-Beginning with a flurry of strings that dissolves into a hyper speed guitar, the vocal you hear first is from Regina…this is perfectly placed….giving the listener some relief from Win and allows for a really great rocking track to interrupt the fairly melancholy sound of this release up to now. This is just enough of an added variety to keep your interest and convince you what you though all along…this band is made up of brilliance!

Cry With No Children—-from the onset, this reminds me of so many other bands…all while keeping a firm grip on the particular sound that this band has. this is again, rather deep and poingnant…reminding all the listeners that life passes you by if you do not make an effort to be a part of it. When the chorus is delivered…with the aid of Regina, you are urged to sing along and cry with the rest of the entourage. This is masterful!

Half Light I—-Again featuring Regina, this is haunting and dense in sound. there are nice little percussive sounds that you hear perfectly through headphones…adding a magical quality to the song. strings soar and add to the underlying sadness of the song. This is too fantastic for words. I love these two when the join voices together…it is truly beautiful.

Half Light II [No Celebration]—-Sounding too different to be a continuation, perhaps I am missing the point. As Win takes over the vocal duties once again, the voice seems moved way to the front of the somewhat fuzzy musical delivery. regina joins in on the vocal towards the third bar of the song and you are presented with a huge track that sucks you in and makes you smile through the goosebumps that take over your body. This is beautiful, intense and remarkably fantastic!

Suburban War—-This is really nice…right from the onset, you are lulled by the gentle but ever-present guitar. The vocal is quiet and subdued…the added vocal from Regina almost too quiet to hear through your headphones. This is brilliant…delivered with an ease that seems to fit the band without ever losing any of the emotional qualities that have made this band Indie and Grammy favorites. This is beautiful.

Month Of May—-This is a really nice surprise!!! the band has all of the elements at their fingertips…good production controls song placement and this is a shining example of why it is so important. Just when you catch the outer fringes of boredom, the band enters in with a manic styled guitar based track to really mix things up and keep you on the edge of your seat. This is brilliant…allowing for a great drum set and some fine fast guitars, this is anything but Suburban!

Wasted Hours—-Returning to a gentle British inspired guitar delivery, the vocal is a bit strained and somehow sounds remarkably appropriate. This is slow, breezy and light on the ears…all the while playing heavy on the emotion. I love this band! This is a perfect example of why this band has received so much critical acclaim…this is not light listening…but somehow is something you could listen to every day.

Deep Blue—-This track comes across to me as rather predictable, but you cannot fault the band…this is an epic release. The vocal and musical delivery are light and breezy…hardly matching the deep intensity of the lyrics…perhaps that is the majesty of it all. The predictable is wonderfully unpredictable!

We Used To Wait—-With a remarkably catchy guitar intro, Win enters with a vocal that barely sounds like himself. I love the slight falsetto and the way he slides from tone to tone with little effort…this only ads to the emotional quality of the songs. This is nice…never quite opening up the way I imagined, the song still has some exceptional qualities that I love…it is what makes this band so masterful and apt entertainers.

Sprawl I [Flatland]—-Beginning with a heavy feel and lots of atmospheric sounds, the vocal enters and is not at all jubilant or even a slight bit happy. This is delivered with a pace that is so slow you urge the CD to spin faster and save you from the dread that pushes your head deeper into your shoulder blades…this is not to be…sit back and enjoy the majesty that is melancholy…gard a hold of the words, digest them and grow in your emotional depths. This is fantastic!

Sprawl II [Mountains Beyond Mountains]—-Much like the earlier two-part song delivery, it is hard to believe that these tracks are intertwined…perhaps the contrast is meant to be a lesson. This is poppy and so accessible I could imagine this easily played on the radio. Regina has a damn pleasant voice…one I wish to hear more often. This is poppy, delivered with guitars that sound like electronics and enough swirls to power a strobe light. Unforgettable! Damn…..this is brilliant!

The Suburbs [Continued]—-String heavy and filled with a sense of sadness, I relate to this…wishing that this release would go on and on. win delivers a falsetto style vocal that is accented with Regina and her beautiful relaxed vocal. This is masterful…taking us full circle…back to where we began!

***** out of 5 [!!!!!]