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The Suburbs CD, Value Price, Studio, Original recording

4.4 out of 5 stars 318 customer reviews

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Written, arranged, performed and produced by the
Arcade Fire and co-produced by Markus Dravs, The
Suburbs was recorded around Montreal and New
York over the past two years.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 3, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD, Value Price, Studio, Original recording
  • Label: Merge Records
  • Run Time: 64 minutes
  • ASIN: B003O85W3A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,232 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G. Young on January 23, 2011
Format: Audio CD
It starts with a deceptively simple sounding song but soon it floats into a haunting, dream-like chorus. After multiple listens, tiny details emerge revealing that there is a lot going on beneath the surface of the music, indeed this is one of the themes explored within the album. "At night the feelings swim to the surface." Small, suburban towns that appear grey and bleak at a glance conceal another world, take a closer look across the green lawns and faceless houses, something sits in the dirt and shines like a shard of broken glass, glinting. In the suburbs, past the wood-polished floors and vacuous lives, past the animal bones and yellow flowers and into the sunlight, there is a tiny glimmer of something like hope.

The listener is invited to "Grab your mother's keys, we're leaving..." and (to me at least) the journey through The Suburbs does feel like driving a stolen car through empty streets, surrounded by grey neighbourhoods, in a town with shuttered windows and swaying trees, slowly engulfed in sweeping whirlwinds of decayed leaves. On many of the tracks there is a huge swirling sound that moves through the songs like a living thing and makes you wonder, what is that sound, what does it represent? Empty Rooms has the sound almost as a constant, whilst during Ready To Start it appears then disappears, only to reappear near the end, a lonely sound, like wind through trees on a hot, July afternoon.

Modern Man, with its almost rockabilly sensiblity, features strange, subtle, off-kilter rhythms and builds to a beautiful guitar led climax, it sounds so simple yet there are many complex harmonics at play and some wonderful ghost-like chords that seem to float and glide, almost in the background but if you listen closely, they can be heard throughout the song.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Arcade Fire has been mining the emotional turmoil of adolescence since its debut in 2004, and though the cause of that turmoil has once again changed, the message is, as always, the same. I'm not one of those people that thinks that everything Arcade Fire has done has been peerless and flawless: I think Arcade Fire is a good band that makes good albums with a handful of truly brilliant songs, nothing more and nothing less. The Suburbs is, as some of the song titles would suggest, a sprawling work, and not without its flaws, but there is plenty of reward for those willing to stick it out for the 60+ minutes. Perhaps working too tightly on the theme of "the suburbs," the album has a tendency to be repetitive, which is not surprising given the album's length and the number of Part 1/Part 2 songs on the record. Though it suffers from some of the same problems like the Decemberists' bloated The Hazards of Love, namely strict adherence to a not entirely warranted theme, the Suburbs sets itself apart by having a number of truly excellent songs. Modern Man and Sprawl II are definitely among the best songs Arcade Fire have written, but having a propulsive drive that demands stomping in time with the beat and belting out the words. It should have been obvious all along that Arcade Fire was not going to top their (somewhat over-loved) debut, Funeral, but on the Suburbs, the band has stayed true to its sound and made the logical next step.
5 Comments 99 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
After waiting for what seems like a millennium since their last official release, we finally get The Suburbs, an engaging indie rock record full of pop gems. Here's my track by track take on it...

The Suburbs - A weak start to an otherwise awesome album, this song was released as the first unofficial single. When I first heard this song before the album was released, it greatly lowered my expectations. It's terribly repetitive. (2/10)

Ready to Start - This song marks the true beginning of the album, in my mind. The Strokes-y drum and bass coordination kick-start the song and drive it into one of the most poignant, catchy choruses on the album. (10/10)

Modern Man - I love a good song with a time signature that throws you off then becomes one of your favorites. (9/10)

Rococo - With its chanted tribal chorus, this song brings to mind memories of their debut album, "Funeral." It's a good example of standard, epic Arcade Fire fare. (8/10)

Empty Room - This is my favorite song on the album, without a doubt. The frenzied strings lead you into the trap and then like the distortion kicks in and knocks you out of your chair. This reminds me of The Rentals. (10/10)

City With No Children - The Springsteen influence once again becomes apparent. Thank God they know how to use it. (8/10)

Half Light I & II - The first half is not as amazing as the second, but it serves as a good lead in. (6/10)/(8/10)

Suburban War - I've seen some people make the case that this album is overproduced (mainly due to tracks like this), but I'd have to disagree. It's well produced, but not overly so. I think this track a perfect example of the right amount of indie/pop production a great Arcade Fire song requires.
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39 Comments 636 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: MP3 Music
First off, when this album was released I didn't really like it at first but then it grew on me, like most of Arcade Fire's stuff. Now I really like this album. It's very good and the 2 new songs and videos are totally worth it, although if you go to Arcade Fire's official website, you can buy the whole thing directly from them WITH the videos for only $4.50 so I recommend getting it there. Otherwise this is awesome.
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