Neon Bible was a disappointment for me. Funeral was such a solid debut and full of great catchy pop songs that Neon Bible didn’t appeal to me as much. So I was a little skeptical about Arcade Fire’s third full-length, The Suburbs.
The Suburbs has actually taken me by surprise. Musically and sonically The Suburbs is more diverse then Neon Bible but it’s also much simpler in composition then Funeral was. This is truly indie rock. The Suburbs is a jangly piano driven song, that isn’t really inspiring and I don’t feel like it was the best song to kick off the album with. But then Ready to Start kicks in. It’s a driving four on floor beat that almost reminds me of The Strokes. It’s very different for the Arcade Fire.
Tracks like Modern Man, Empty Room, Children With No City, and Month of May are all really driven rock songs. It’s a new direction for Arcade Fire that they pull off really well. While Rococo, Half Light, and Sprawl all have a classic Arcade Fire feel. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) sounds like a song from Blondie. It’s not cheesy. It’s actually done really well. The album ends with reprise of the Suburbs, which doesn’t give the album a nice definitive ending.
There are a lot of new sounds on The Suburbs. It’s a new direction for a band that needed to do something. While I don’t agree with a lot of sites that this is one of the best records of 2010, I do love the record and the new direction Arcade Fire has gone.