Montreal’s Arcade Fire came to the attention of UK music fans in 2005 with their debut album Funeral which was met with critical and commercial acclaim. In some quarters they were accused of suffering from the sophomore slump on their follow up Neon Bible, their third album The Suburbs was released this week (2nd August 2010).
It’s easy for bands to start believing their own hype by the time that album no. 3 rolls around (yes I mean you Coldplay!) and become lazy and formulaic, but the band have managed to take elements of the winning formula from their first two releases and take that sound to a new dimension.
On the new album a variety of musical styles are explored from out and out pounding rock (Empty Room) to Scissor Sistersesque electronica (Sprawl II).
Modern Man with it’s slightly skewed metre chugs along with a foot tapping persistence.
Empty Room sounds most like the first album with it’s strings and harmonies (which is no bad thing).
If the themes explored on previous album Neon Bible were about making their way out into the wider world and touching on global matters, the new album is very much centered on returning home to the suburbs of the title only to find that they have changed from how they remembered them growing up in the ’80s.
Overall a good album (if slightly long at sixteen tracks) which proves that Arcade Fire still have what it takes.
The Suburbs is available from the seenit.co.uk store.