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Stream the new Arcade Fire album, ‘The Suburbs’ – It’s really, really great

In Canada, Celebrate Your Scene, Montréal on August 2, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

If you haven’t received you’re pre-order and didn’t get your download email (or you didn’t download a leak), you can now legally listen to the new Arcade Fire album, The Suburbs, in its entirety, thanks to NPR. Having gone through the album a handful of times over the past 4 or 5 days, my impression is this: it’s really fucking good. It definitely got hyped up. It’s been hyped up since Funeral. It deserves it all, though. It’s 16 songs and roughly an hour long. It’s not as HUGE as their last album. No thundering organs. But it’s okay because the song writing more than makes up for a lowering of the AUDACITY from their previous work. The lyrics are some of the best they’ve ever had and the melodies probably are just about the best they’ve ever written. So for an album so long, there’s bound to be weak spots. Well, that’s partly true but not entirely. The first three songs (‘The Suburbs’, ‘Ready To Start’, and ‘Modern Man’) are nearly perfect. The second to last song, ‘Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)’ is my absolute favorite song on this album, and holds up as one of their best songs. ‘Rococo’, ‘City With No Children’, ‘Half Light II (No Celebration)’, ‘Suburban War’, ‘Month of May’, ‘We Used To Wait’, and ‘The Suburbs (continued)’ are all great. ‘Empty Room’ and ‘Sprawl I (The Flatlands)’ are very, very good as well. This leaves us with ‘Half Light I’, ‘Wasted Hours’,  and ‘Deep Blue’. Those could be considered the ‘lesser tracks’ but that’s hardly saying much since I still consider those three songs to be great. They just are my three least favorite songs on a nearly perfect album, which I think is perfectly acceptable. Anyway, there’s sure to be a review from at least one of us (I’ve started writing one, so probably one from me), so don’t worry about what songs are amazing and which ones are slightly less so, and just take a listen to what is sure to be one of 2010’s most highly regarded albums.

NOTE: I saw the Arcade Fire at Osheaga on Saturday night and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The new songs sound great, especially surprising was how much I enjoyed ‘Wasted Hours’ and ‘Deep Blue’ live. And, just as exciting was how good the older songs sound, especially ‘Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels),’ ‘Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)’, and ‘Rebellion (Lies)’. ‘Wake Up’, the closer, was just as fantastic as I remembered it being when I saw them in 2007 or 2008 after Neon Bible came out. I’m lucky enough to be seeing them again this coming Wednesday in NYC, so I’m very excited for that show. More on Osheaga and The Suburbs to come.

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