NPR is streaming the Arcade Fire’s latest LP, The Suburbs (out tomorrow via Merge Records) . And if Pitchfork is to be trusted (which they can be for the most part), it sounds like the Canadian rock group has put out another fantastic album.
The metrics of The Suburbs are misleading: At 16 tracks, including interludes and multi-part songs, it might seem like Arcade Fire are shooting for their Sandinista!, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, or Sign O’ The Times— a band at the peak of their powers reacting against the walls closing in by blowing everything up and trying anything. But the album actually plays out more like Bruce Springsteen’s The River, a generously paced collection of meditations on familial responsibility, private disappointments, and fleeting youth, much of which takes place in moving vehicles. It also reintroduces much-needed levity to an act that can be overbearingly self-serious.
Excellent. The one problem I had with Neon Bible is that it often sounded like a self-important band trying too hard to be “an important” band.