Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
Official release date: August 3, 2010
The verdict: Things that are on The Suburbs, Arcade Fire’s already-being-rapturously-received third album: lots of songs (sixteen exactly, stretching over an hour of music) that are, for the most part, slower, more deliberate, and less anthemic than the stuff on Funeral and Neon Bible (if anything here would have to soundtrack a movie trailer, it’d be a tight race between “Month of May” and “Empty Room”); loads of lyrics about feeling alone, regretful, or worn down (“as I hide inside my private prison,” “hear human voices but they’re only echoes,” “spent the summer staring out the window,” “now we’ll scream and sing the chorus again,” etc.); in totality, another display of the band’s virtuosic knack for making sad albums that somehow don’t feel utterly soul-crushing (and, sometimes, feel like the exact opposite of that). Not on The Suburbs: any songs about lemonade stands, water balloons, lawn mowers, slip-’n-slides, finished basements, bike riding, or the convenience of backyard pools.