For the Record: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

I was going to do this last week but I got sidetracked by ‘9 to 5.’ Just as well, ’cause I’d have looked pretty stupid slagging off the Grammy anointed Album of the Year. Good thing it didn’t come to that.

Arcade Fire is the new Coldplay. You remember Coldplay — they were the It Band about 10 minutes ago. Things move fast in popular music.

I first became aware of AF when Nephew 2 gave me a copy of  the band’s “Funeral” album. I kept seeing it showing up on a lot of Top 10 lists, but I didn’t get into it. I even went back and listened to it yesterday to see if maybe I missed something the first time ’round. Nope, still don’t care for it.

But we’re not hear to talk about “Funeral,” we’re here to talk about “The Suburbs.” And props to the fire brigade — this is a much better album.

It starts off with a solid 1-2-3 punch of the title track, “Ready to Start” and “Modern Man” — the latter being my favorite track on the disc.

I’m not as fond of “Rococo” but then it picks up again with “Empty Room.” I do lose a little interest in the last half of the record, but “Suburban War” is a standout track from the back half. It seems a little bloated — a common failing of modern records — but still a very solid album. And they have a French Horn player, which is pretty awesome.

But is it the Album of the Year? I dunno, I haven’t listened to every record released in 2010. I haven’t even listened to the other 4 nominees. But given that the competition was Eminem, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Lady Antebellum, I would guess the Grammy voters made the right choice.


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