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Customer Review

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars album of the year? Not in my name..., 25 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Suburbs (Audio CD)
So, according to most of the musical press the contest for album of the year is over, even though it's only August, as the third album from Arcade Fire is apparently so darn good it couldn't possibly be bettered in the forthcoming four or so months, and it is of course way above the standard of anything released so far this year. More than that it is a modern classic, the band's masterpiece, their Ok Computer, but "arguably better than that" (bbc online review). I couldn't resist buying a copy after reading and hearing one great review of this album after another. After all, i had thought Funeral a very good album, if not so taken by Neon Bible, with the exception of Intervention, a stunning track.

I'll cut to the chase. Having listened to the album a good few times now, I really can't see what all the fuss is about. The first 3 tracks are pretty good, particularly the title track, but thereafter it is a real struggle to stay interested-in my opinion. The track Suburban War sounds like The Smiths and The Cure have somehow been fused in a Heston Blumenthalesque audio experiment, i was fully expecting to hear Morrisey come in with "Take me out, tonight" followed by Robert Smith chipping in "oh take me anywhere i don't care i don't care i don't care". Sprawl (mountains beyond mountains)is only a few seconds away from becoming "He's my Japanese Boy" by Aneka. It must be one of the most misguided efforts in living musical memory.

I do think Win Butler is doubtless a talented musician and songwriter. On the tracks where they sound like themselves (the suburbs for instance) they sound great. But theirs is too eclectic a musical cannon for my liking, and it's like they're thinking "the more bands we sound like, the more people will like us, right?" and they mimic too many other artists (Springsteen, Talking Heads, Television as well as those already mentioned) rather than building on their own sound. Add to that that it is about five tracks or fifteen minutes too long, and centred around the pretty dull theme of growing up in the suburbs (im pleased i didnt if this album is anything to go by)and it all becomes too much like hard work.

I'm not saying that it's a dreadful album, because it's not. For me it's just a massive over-statement to say that it's a great one. 6/10.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Oct 2010 13:01:53 BDT
A. Edwards says:
"argueabley better than that" in reference to OK Computer. Don't quote if your quote is incorrect.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Oct 2010 20:48:29 BDT
BigRich says:
Duly noted.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Nov 2010 15:06:49 GMT
S.R.J says:
Agree Rich, I think its a case of such a brilliant debut album possibly heralding even greater things to come, has, ultimately proven to be a band hitting the highs early on and declining thereafter. I was extremely dissapointed with this album and by god I have tried, only to conclude it isn't worthy of their name. Hype over substance perhaps?
S.R.J

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Dec 2010 02:46:33 GMT
I agree too - I often don't pick things up on the first listen and need at least a second to really decided if something is good or not, but it still hasn't impressed me. However, with all the great reviews I was convinced it would be something special, especially after Neon Bible which had a few outstanding tracks amongst more mediocre ones. However, I am struggling to find any really outstanding tracks at all on this. It's all a bit boring and hardly a record of the year.

Posted on 8 Jan 2011 12:31:03 GMT
R. Lehmann says:
I agree with this review. I loved Funeral and still do. In the Back Seat is one of my favourite tracks of all time. It took me 7+ listens to get into Neon Bible, but when I was there, I loved that too (but not quite as much as Funeral). When I first heard Suburbs I was disappointed, but ready to put in the 'earwork' in the hope that it would grown on me, but 15+ listens later I find that I have to agree fully with BigRich's comments.

Having said that, it's still a lot better than 95% of the new music I heard in 2010.
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