I am, by no means, an avid fan of Arcade Fire. I enjoy their music, but I make no claims to understanding it. This Impressions piece is strictly from the point of view of someone who happens to like the sound of indie music, but isn't really (really) into the whole indie movement.
So, onto The Suburbs, Arcade Fire's latest album. I've always been confused. Is it The Arcade Fire or just Arcade Fire? That's getting off track, however. I'm sorry; it's an early morning in between classes and I thought I'd make the most of it by finishing this blog post.
The Suburbs is a continuation of the Arcade Fire sound that I first heard in Neon Bible and later, Funeral. Yes, I know, Funeral was released earlier, but my Arcade Fire experience wasn't really chronological. But it's safe to assume that if you enjoyed the earlier albums, you'll like The Suburbs.
The album follows up on the mix of the semi-orchestral and multi-instrumental sound, evoking powerful emotions I didn't even know I had (That's a joke). But seriously, if they can do anything, Win Butler and Regine Chassagne know how to get into your heart and mess around with some cords (or I guess, chords) in there.
My personal favorite track on the entire album is "Rococo." There's a simplicity to the song (hint: they repeat the title word a lot) that I just find appealing and comforting. It might be because everything else is changing around me and I find comfort in the repetition of the song. But that's getting psychological and I'm a journalism major.
The only problem I see with the album is that if you didn't like Arcade Fire before, then there's no reason for you to like them now. Their sound is evolving, yes, but it's not changing. This is the same Arcade Fire from Funeral, and whether you like it or not, I doubt they'll change.
But, overall, I found the album worth its monetary investment and definitely a pleasure to put on late at night when I'm busy note-taking and just need some unobtrusive, but still intriguing and catchy tunes. If you have the cash and like Arcade Fire, I fully recommend buying it. If you have cash and aren't sure of Arcade Fire, may I suggest just downloading the top tracks off iTunes ("Modern Man," "Rococo," "Half Light I," "Half Light II: No Celebration"). If you don't have cash, or you just don't like Arcade Fire, I'd just put the money away for Reach, or something.