March 26, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 36°F


‘Arcade Fire’ revamps sound with electronic melodies

Arcade Fire had an impossible task to face for its third studio album “The Suburbs.” In the last decade, the band released both a flawless, game-changing debut and an incredible sophomore album. How could any band possibly live up to the hype and expectations generated by its first two records? By all accounts, “The Suburbs” should be terrible. Arcade Fire more than lived up to the challenge with the next addition to its near-perfect discography.
The title track, “The Suburbs,” kicks off the album as an engaging opener that is by no means the best track the album has to offer, and yet it’s a perfect glimpse into what is yet to come in the next 15 songs. The record begins with several upbeat songs like “Ready to Start” and slows down into a hazy, dream-like feel in “City with No Children,” which more closely resembles classic Arcade Fire sound. The last song, “The Suburbs (Continued),” is the culmination of this dream world – it sounds like the background music to an old, black-and-white love story.
It is difficult to choose the best or worst song off the album – from start to finish the record is an inescapable descent down the rabbit hole.  Perhaps the most interesting song on the album is “Month of May.” Its rock tempo feels different than anything Arcade Fire has ever done.
Many of the songs on the record still embody the “epic” pop feel of some of the band’s previous tracks like “No Cars Go,” but the band has adapted a more modern, electronic feel than its previous two albums. Each song has playful, ethereal melodies made complex by the multiple instruments incorporated.
The record has an “indie” feel and therefore won’t please every listener, but it should not be ignored by any alternative rock fan. It’s not the album to rock out to, but it is the album to listen to on a long car ride at night.