Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (Merge, 2010)

This is actually the first time we’ve featured them, but they’ve been mentioned here more than any other band.

Nick: Really? Maybe you’re right.

I like it a lot, but it’s strange… to compliment it you have to say things that sound negative in comparison to what they done before. It’s less exuberant, it’s probably less inventive, it’s actually more grown up. If you had to guess the age of the people who made the first record you’d say 17 or 18, it had a studenty feel. But now they sound like they’re mid 20s or early 30s, this is more established, and yet I think it’s very good. I hate to say middle of the road but its true.

I think this would reach a broader range of listeners.

Do you think there’s many people who haven’t listened to them yet?

Well that’s not the same thing, this will get more people listening to them, it’ll change their minds.

When we went to see them in the Olympia, I must’ve been the oldest person there, at least twice as old as the next person, but now I can imagine their shows will be full of older people.

You didn’t have much fun at that show…

Well I was surrounded by people pissed out of their minds, they didn’t come to listen to the music. I was worried about the guy in front of us, it’s steep up in the seats, I could see him toppling off the balcony. But then I’m old so I worry about that stuff, all the people his age probably would’ve loved to see that!

But I think it’s the music not the crowd that kept the older people away. Everyone who I told I was going raised their eyebrows, most didn’t even know who I was talking about!

I think somewhere between the first and second album his voice became incredibly miserable sounding.

You think so? I don’t think it ever sounded uplifting…in fact he doesn’t look very uplifting either.

They take very serious photos.

Yes they do.

This is also a lot more orchestral isn’t it? The only objection I have, and it’s a minor one – it tends to be quite samey, a lot of the songs are very similar.

What do you think of the whole ‘Suburbs’ theme?

Ahh that’s just something for them to hang their hats on, it’s not important.

I’m starting to agree with your brother, the songs are all too long.

{Track 15: Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)}

I really love this one.

It’s probably the least ‘Arcade Fire’…

Yeah, but I’m surprised at how well it fits in with the rest.

The album has a great cohesion. It’s very….of one thing.

These songs all come from the same part of the forest? Just on the outskirts of the suburbs?

Yes, but almost too much! There is almost no surprises in it.

{Track 16: The Suburbs (Continued)}

Actually this is a surprise, I thought it was over.

So there we go, Nick finally gets to choose an album, can’t believe we’d never ‘done’ Arcade Fire before. Just found out what he wants to do tomorrow, I’m nervous.


One response to “Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (Merge, 2010)

  1. They have a very narrow vocabulary, don’t they? The Arcade Fire, not Ruan and Nick.
    I remember years and years ago NME did this skit where you could put together your own Suede and Manic Street Preachers songs using some cut-out-and-keep phrases.
    You could do that with Arcade Fire.
    Sprawl II is deadly though.

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