- Published: [Chapel Hill, N.C.] : Merge Records, 2010.
- Year Published: 2010
- Description: 1 sound disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
- Language: English
- Format: CD
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Call number: CD Rock Arcade Suburbs
Available Copies: Downtown 2nd Fl. CDs
Lyrics inserted in container.
The suburbs -- Ready to start -- Modern man -- Rococo -- Empty room -- City with no children -- Half light I -- Half light II (No celebration) -- Suburban war -- Month of May -- Wasted hours -- Deep blue -- We used to wait -- Sprawl I (Flatland) -- Sprawl II (Mountains beyond mountains) -- The suburbs (continued)
Arcade Fire: Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, Richard Parry, Tim Kingsbury, William Butler.
Grammy-nominated indie rock band Arcade Fire created one of the most lauded albums of the last decade, 2004's Funeral. Now, to follow up their acclaimed second album, Neon Bible, they present The Suburbs, one of the most anticipated rock releases of 2010.
"9 out of 10...blazingly intense...Radiant with apocalyptic tension..."--SPIN.
"4 out of 4...philosophically rich, sonically bold and emotionally gripping...An instant classic..."--USA Today.
The driving drums and sustained strings throughout the album provide a feeling of anticipation: not can’t-sleep-the-night-before-going-to-Disneyland anticipation, but can’t-sleep-because-there’s-a-monster-under-the-bed anticipation. The album as a whole is overwhelming—I feel like I would need to listen to it a dozen more times to really “get it.” But the unbalance I feel when listening to The Suburbs contributes to the experience of the album
The opening track “The Suburbs” draws you right into the album and was my favorite, upon the first listen. However, on time two, “Month of May” took that place (probably because it was up-tempo and could stand alone.) I found some of the songs (especially “Deep Blue”) to be a little slow—not just in tempo, but in interest and development.
This comes in both the 'I' and the 'we' form. In Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains), Regine Chassagne laments the grind of hourly work as she gets stifled from singing and told to "quit these pretentious things, and just punch the clock." The setting is the effective landscape: "dead shopping malls" that rise "like mountains beyond mountains." Yet the narrator is not entirely hopeless; instead, she looks to the city where she can "find [her] kind." Like so many of Springsteen's songs, the world may be at best dead and at worst oppressive, but when you can find the right people to share the good times with, life can be a celebration.
In We Used to Wait, Butler returns to the time just a few decades ago when we used to wait for letters to arrive in the mail, with all the hope and anticipation that brought into our lives. He captures the collective consciousness of the Generations X-Y, the last generation to remember when not everything in life was expected to come instantly into our hands, eyes, and ears. It's not just a nostalgic trip, however, for this same group of people are also the ones who catalyzed the information age, wanting so much to speed things ahead, until we got there and suddendly needed everything to slow down again.
The Suburbs may be the best record of the year. It may even be the best record of the decade. Or it may just be a record of the moment. One that falls into an historical document rather than a perpetual zeitgeist. Perhaps time will tell
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