Indie music is a funny thing. I enjoy listening to it, some of my favorite artists are Indie artists. Though I'm always a little embarrassed to admit that I am a fan of the genre. When most people(and believe me, I know what most people think) hear the term Indie music they think of "Death Cab for Cutie" (shudder) or bands that are on the Twilight movie soundtracks (anger).
Arcade Fire is an indie rock band from Montreal. I was first led on to them when a friend put their 2007 release "Neon Bible" on my ipod (not zune). That cd was recorded in a old church and had heavy thematic elements of religion. I immediately tossed it aside as a try-hard band that was forcing its moodiness onto me. Then this friend gave me their first cd, Funeral. I listened to it a few times through and it was a case of right-place-right-time and fell in love with it. I gave Neon Bible another chance and loved the haunting sound of the cd and knew Arcade Fire was a band that would climb my top 20 list.
The Suburbs is their 3rd full length album and was released last month. Just like Funeral and Neon Bible it is a theme album. At times it seems that it mocks suburban life and its monotony, but other songs celebrate the family routines of suburbia. The lead vocalist describes the album as a letter from the suburbs. It's important to not dismiss the cd as an experimental album. There is enough variety throughout to garner fans of several different genres.
The first single "Ready To Start" is a decent introduction if you have never heard the band before but it is hardly the best song on the cd. Just to let you know, if you buy cd's for the radio songs and think they're the best track on the album, you probably like pop music and hate yourself. So sad.
I listen to this cd when I go running at night. (pedophile alert) And while it's not the fast rock and roll beat that is usually necessary for exercise, the melodies are moody and haunting and perfect for lazy joggers like myself. Just listen to any other cd and compare it to this and you'll love this album for its instrumentals alone, and feel every other cd feels flat. Arcade Fire is comprised of at least 9 people with instruments ranging from french horns to cellos. And we all know there's always room for Cello. (Ba dum cha!) All joking aside, every song is emotionally charged with Win Butler's vocals and an indie symphony backing him up.
The cd starts out very strong with its opening track "The Suburbs." (Imagine that) Other favorites are "Rococo" "Half Light II" "Suburban War" and "We Used to Wait."
I would recommend this cd to basically anyone who doesn't like Country or R & B. There is just no converting "those people." I know a lot of our readers might be older men who also walk the neighborhoods at night. To those people I say, put away the old Pearl Jam cd's and stop waiting for the return of a new INXS, listen to The Suburbs and you will not regret it.
For fans of Arcade Fire this cd meets all expectations. It is not perfect but nearly, so I cannot give it a 5 star rating. If we had a 4.5 rating I would bestow the honor to this cd.
If every indie band were as good as Arcade Fire, I would be an unashamed indie fan.
Thursday, September 16, 2010 Kenny D