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The Suburbs

Arcade Fire

2010

Buy At Rough Trade
The Suburbs
Album Summary

The Suburbs is the third studio album by Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire, released on August 2, 2010. Coinciding with its announcement, the band released a limited edition 12-inch single containing the title track and "Month of May". The album debuted at No. 1 on the Irish Albums Chart, the UK Albums Chart, the US Billboard 200 chart, and the Canadian Albums Chart. It won Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards, Best International Album at the 2011 BRIT Awards, Album of the Year at the 2011 Juno Awards, and the 2011 Polaris Music Prize for best Canadian album. Two weeks after winning Grammy's Album of the Year, the album jumped from No. 52 to No. 12 on the Billboard 200, the album's highest ranking since August 2010.Arcade Fire released a deluxe edition CD/DVD of The Suburbs on June 27, 2011 (everywhere except the U.S. and Canada). The American and Canadian versions were released on August 2, 2011, to coincide with the original album's anniversary. The new version included two brand new tracks recorded during The Suburbs album sessions ("Culture War" and "Speaking in Tongues", the latter featuring David Byrne), an extended version of album track "Wasted Hours", Spike Jonze's short film, Scenes from the Suburbs, and an 80-page booklet as well as other exclusive content.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.55

Votes

12059
Genres
Rock
Indie

Reviews

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Fri Nov 27 2020
1

second album by this band on this... and i can safely say that they're fucking boring. just meandering, meaningless shit. it just doesn't end, but it also never goes anywhere. what a load of crap. fuck off. 1/5.

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Thu Dec 23 2021
5

An emotionally dense concept album that threatens to collapse under the weight of its own ambition - the mid section of the album drags a little - but there’s no denying the quality of the anthems in this work. At its peak it’s absolutely stunning.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

This album is a masterpiece in my opinion. I ruddy love it. It gives me a very specific feeling when I listen to it and I feel like I have this exact picture of the whole album as a concept. Might be a load of rubbish though. Sprawl II is my favourite Arcade Fire song.

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Sat Apr 02 2022
4

There was a brief period from like 2008-2012 when literally all music sounded like this. And I'm totally a sucker for it.

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Tue Mar 28 2023
4

They heard me singing and they told me to stop Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock These days, my life, I feel it has no purpose But late at night the feelings swim to the surface 'Cause on the surface the city lights shine They're calling at me, "Come and find your kind" Sometimes, I wonder if the world's so small That we can never get away from the sprawl I mean, its pretty good. 4/5

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Tue Oct 17 2023
3

Full disclosure: I don’t really care for this band, never have, but I must be getting old and jaded, because every song on this record, I was finding some preexisting counterpart for their songs…like, “oh, they’re doing a Springsteen thing here”, “hey, this is pretty much an M83 track”, “now they’re trying to get a krautrock thing going” and “oh, they own Blondie records, too”. My point is, I spent the majority of this record thinking about other bands. Doesn’t say much for Arcade Fire if the most memorable thing about this record is that it made me want to listen to something else.

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Sat Apr 16 2022
5

I, too, hate suburban sprawl and the lack of identity that capitalism ingrains into every aspect of our culture.

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Wed Jan 26 2022
5

who wants to start an arcade fire?

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Tue Nov 14 2023
3

Let me tell ya, when those opening notes of the title track kicked in to open the album, I was 17 again. What a deep and affecting dose of Indie nostalgia. Then the song ends with the final notes ringing out into the near-perfect Ready To Start. Gotta be one of the best 1-2 punches to kick off a record in the genre. Beautiful, affecting music. The rest of the record? Not so much. I like a track here or there but I associate Arcade Fire with the inconsistency very much on display here. What does a song like Deep Blue have to offer me that I don’t get from any other Indie band? Why would I listen to Sprawl II instead of like Passion Pit? There is of course also a little bit of a pall hanging over this group because of sexual misconduct allegations against Win Butler, but I’m not holding that against the rest of the group. What I will blame them for is creating a gigantic band which can so frequently produce a bland sound. It’s a shame the soaring highs seem to be met with such generic lows. Ultimately, an inconsistent and drawn out album. Top tracks: The Suburbs, Ready To Start, Modern Man, Suburban War, Month Of May, We Used To Wait

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Fri Dec 17 2021
5

Was underwhelmed the first time I listened to it, but it has eventually become my favorite Arcade Fire album

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Sun Nov 20 2022
2

Are you fucking kidding me? Arcade Fire is boring garbage. I'm so sick of getting generated two star albums.

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Wed Dec 02 2020
5

Definitely a fave. So many great tracks, this album makes me feel lots of things

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

I am listening this album for years. Brilliant.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
5

uh, WOW. this has got to be one of my favorites so far. i can tell that repeated listenings can only enhance my enjoyment of this album, and i am going to listen to other music by arcade fire, too. this is definitely an album to be enjoyed fully. the singles are definitely good and stand out, but the album was created to listened to as it is. the variety of instruments and sounds! the flare from the classical music influence, the different impact coming from two vocalists, it's all wonderful.

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Thu May 26 2022
5

Man this was a ride listening to today. This album came out when I was finishing university and had no idea what to do next with my life. I was in that period where I was working full time and moving up at work, but still had so much free time and was still hanging around my hometown. I picked it up again in 2011 after they won the Grammy, and I was travelling around the country for work. My interpretation of The Suburbs is all about nostalgia trying to get back home. I think this was my most played album of theirs and I could likely recite every word from it. Now more than 10 years later I come to this album happily married, with a mortgage living in the suburbs with a cat and a job I’ve been at for 6 years. Then I had shaggy hair, now I’m contemplating shaving off what hair I have left. The nostalgia is so potent for that period in my life right before I became a real adult but more importantly before I had any real responsibilities. The Suburbs is looking back even further than the era I’m nostalgic for; before cell phones and the internet. When communication mead weight even when it’s inane. When we went on adventures and explored our surroundings. Had stupid conversations and acted smarter than we were. Is this their best album? Funeral I can’t get through without tearing up. Reflector is real messy but has I think their strongest songs. The Suburbs though does the best job of creating a mood and tapping into a feeling. I think with the benefit of hindsight I think the argument could be made this is the definitive Millennial rock album. Like Nevermind for Gen X or Sour by Olivia Rodrigo will be for Gen Z. It’s so of it’s time and has only grown in power in the decade since.

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Tue Nov 14 2023
2

After losing his virginity, and narrowly avoiding the cops our protagonist lays down on his bed. He puts his headphones on, smirks at the ceiling, and an arcade fire song plays as we fade to the credits. The scene could be at the end of any coming of age movie, and any song from this album. If you think that's an indictment of coming of age movies and this album, you're wrong, watching a coming of age movie is at least fun.

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

5* One of the best albums of the 2000's. The deceptive easiness of the songs will give up their depth after a few listens. City With No Children is a truly amazing song

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

Don't play with fire or like me you could end up with a disgustingly disfigured penis. It's like a half melted candle. But not a thick one, a weedy kids' birthday cake one. Children are still allowed to blow on it and make a wish if they like.

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Mon Jul 11 2022
5

Love this record. Start to finish it is great. Favorite son is Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains). Reminds me of growing up and nails the aprehension I feel for my children's future. It's nostalgia and dread all at once but in the best way. Technology and development are changing the world from what we grew up in to an uncertain future and no assurances of our place in it.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

This is such a great record and easily my favourite from Arcade Fire. It's lyrically very tight and works great as a front to back album. It potrays the feeling of being stuck in the suburban sprawl and yearning to escape and be something greater but still loving home anyway because it's what you know. Musically it's energetic and danceable and the production is very clear. They really nail the Arcade Fire formula here with great tension building and larger than life moments. Easy 5 for me.

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Thu Oct 13 2022
5

not bad so far. had never listened to arcade fire

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Fri Mar 10 2023
5

reminds me of summer time, old pets, of lighting fireworks in the streets with neighborhood friends as a kid. feelings you can't fully understand til you're old. relationships you thought would last forever. you remember fondly that we're definitely flawed but you sort of wish you could get back. something about this album evokes such a raw emotional yearning and nostalgia and brings me back to those days.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
4

I still remember when this album came out, how much noise it made in the indie rock community, and the major stir it caused in the mainstream community by winning a Best Album Grammy. Back in 2010 when I listened to this, I didn't appreciate this album, nor understand the hype around it, so I was excited to listen again all these years later with ears that have expanded and developed their tastes. This time around, I enjoyed the album a lot more. This is yet another album that is best enjoyed as an album, and not as singles. It makes good use of storytelling and the songs have good ups and downs and mixed tempos to keep things from feeling stale. This time around, I'm happy to say this album resonated with me and is exactly what I have come to enjoy about indie rock.

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Tue Oct 04 2022
4

I once followed a meme page that actively hated Arcade Fire

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Tue Mar 28 2023
4

It’s a much more compact sound than I’d expect from Arcade Fire, but still so deceptively intricate. Thematically permeated by “the suburbs”, the existential dread of the metaphor saturates the music. Most of the time (as in the title track), it’s highly enjoyable. I don’t get Win Butler’s explanation of the music as Depeche Mode meets Neil Young, but I appreciate the attempt.

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Tue Nov 14 2023
4

It’s a good album, and it has a couple certified bops, but it’s also strange. It feels very nostalgic for an event I was not a part of. It’s not a born in the wrong era thing because I feel it with both older and contemporary bands. It’s almost like this album is talking about an inside joke I’m not a part of. Overall good, but especially given recent events I probably won’t have a strong desire to relisten to this

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Tue Nov 14 2023
3

It’s fine, kind of lacks the magic of the early AF stuff

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Tue Nov 14 2023
3

I imagine this is what a barbecue in Tremont sounds like

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Tue Nov 28 2023
3

its kinda cool, sounds like a weirder coldplay with a more rock and happy vibes feel. i like their debut better, its more raw and in a way, closer to the strokes or something more rock and roll like that.

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Thu Dec 07 2023
3

I probably listened to this all the way through less than twice when it came out, then placed it at the back of the digital shelf. A decade later and no hidden surprises are revealed: starts well enough, but quickly sags and never really recovers apart from the fabulous "Sprawl II", a well-executed Blondie pastiche. Shame

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Thu Apr 11 2024
3

Not sure what to expect here, let's give it a whirl. Wiki says they're a canadian indie rock band...they kind of remind me of The Shins. It was good. 3 stars

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Tue Apr 05 2022
2

I didn't know this singer. No bad but it's the kind of music I don't heard.

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Tue Nov 14 2023
2

Never understood the acclaim for this album. It's really quite boring. Sprawl II is the only redeeming factor.

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Thu Dec 07 2023
2

The first couple of tracks are better than anything on their debut, though still instrumentally overburdened, but by the halfway mark the Arcade Fire had ground me down with their relentless pretentiousness. This is paper mache melodrama filmed in IMAX, no varnish spared. This time I do recognise a knack for hooks and stomps to go with empty climaxes, the lead songwriter’s speciality I have read. Lyrically, I close-listened to the last few tracks, and the paucity of concrete nouns outside vague, unanchored, oft-cliched analogy (“every corner of the earth”) is a giveaway: they’ve little to say, just the mundane usual, pumped-up with cheap obscurity. Simon, you may ask for an example of expensive obscurity: Bowie, if I’m being peaceable, but as it’s my birthday I’m throwing Scott Walker at you with a moronic giggle x

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Tue Nov 14 2023
1

I liked Arcade Fire when "Funeral" first came out, but their style of overly-sincere, orchestral indie-pop got old real fast. This one was a real slog. I'm glad it's over and look forward to avoiding Arcade Future from now on.

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Sat Jan 08 2022
5

Arcade Fire perfectly encapsulates an aesthetic of the suburban dread that most modern Americans experience. Not only that, but sonically they found a sound that uniquely identifies them as major players in the 2010s indie rock scene two albums after their first.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

Well, what a JOY that was. Really loved it. Arcade Fire are such a brilliant band. Weirdly one song went a bit ABBA at one point I thought, but I liked that about it. Such epic optimistic music - always puts you in a good mood. would love to see them like at some point

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

Gostei muito desse álbum, principalmente ready to start.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
5

Love Arcade Fire. Their 4 album run from Funeral - Reflektor includes some of my most formative music. When this album came out I think I likely ranked it 4th out of those 4 album (Funeral #1, Neon Bible #2, Reflecktor #3) but it seemed much stronger on this listen. Made me very nostalgic for guitar driven indie rock. Ready to Start is the clear highlight, but all of the first 3 songs are bangers. 4.5/5

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

Remember being a kid in the summer of year two thousand something? That's what this album sounds like

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Wed Feb 23 2022
5

I’ll never forget how baffled my famil was when this won album of the year

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Sun Mar 06 2022
5

Much maligned due to its predecessors. I still love it. Really stands up. Less bangers and more a feeling!

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Sun Mar 13 2022
5

El Hadra El 5amsa Me Rbo3 Etheleth Is Done. Good Days When It Comes To Work, It Just Started Paying. Thank You Lord

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Mon Mar 21 2022
5

This is not Arcade Fire's best album, but it is their most focused and complete. Nothing quite captures the despairing ennui of suburban life quite like The Suburbs. It's critical, of course - "dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains" isn't the most singable line, but they make it sound sickly sweet - but there are also touches of nostalgia (We Used to Wait and Rococo) to balance out the despair (City with No Children. among others) and outright panic (Month of May). It's a successful concept album that's more than the sum of its parts, but the parts are damn good to start with. Best track: Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

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Fri Mar 25 2022
5

Probably my favorite arcade fire album

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

28th March 2022 Listened throughout the day working in the front room. Went to the cinema for screen unseen which turned out to be the novice. Jen hated it. What a record. Big, intimate, sprawling look at small town life. Arcade arguably at the peak of their powers.

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

This is my favorite Arcade Fire album!

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Tue Apr 12 2022
5

A seemingly post-apocalyptic look at my own childhood in a Texas suburb. Post-rock in places, indie-rock in others. 6/5 stars for this one. This album made me miss a place that I had forgotten that I forgot.

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Sat Apr 16 2022
5

Gave me The Smiths energy and also Sprawl II ???? A bop

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

Probably my favourite of their albums. They performed it brilliantly live. SHACK'S wet dream....but with fewer kids obviously. ...the big silly nonce.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
5

I honestly don't know how they captured the feeling of drinking a cold Fanta while watching the sunset during the first day of summer break in musical form, but they did. I'm a sucker for this kind of "sad nostalgia". Sure worked on me, and I'm not even from the suburbs.

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Thu Jul 21 2022
5

Loved this! Amazing album 10/10

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Sat Jul 23 2022
5

Nostalgique moi ? serieusement ^^ haha on me l avait pas sor

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Wed Aug 03 2022
5

I distinctly remember disliking this at the time, but I have no idea what was wrong with me, it's a masterpiece. Epic soundscape, full of emotion, builds through the whole thing. What a fool I was to have missed out on this for so long!

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Wed Aug 10 2022
5

This is one of my favorite albums ever. I used to hate it when it first came out. Compared to Neon Bible and Funeral, I thought it was boring and overly long. But it really grew on me and now it's one of my favorites. The opening run of songs is fantastic and Sprawl II is in the top 5 Arcade Fire songs of all time.

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Sat Aug 13 2022
5

Majestic album, really hard to not like Arcade Fire.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
5

I think Arcade Fire's "Funeral" is one of the best debut albums of the 2000s. And of course, it is notoriously hard for bands to deliver lauded follow-ups to much-buzzed-about debuts. Arcade Fire came close to dispelling the curse of the sophomore slump with "Neon Bible." In fact, in terms of sales and acclaim, there was no dip. But "Funeral" was almost impossible to follow. "Neon Bible" still has an amazing start with "Black Mirror" and "Keep the Car Running," and "No Cars Go" is also terrific, but nothing in between really stands out in the way that "Funeral" was consistently terrific throughout. Their third album, "The Suburbs," solidified Arcade Fire as one of the best of their era. Like "Neon Bible" and to some extent "Funeral," "The Suburbs" is not quite a concept album - maybe a thematic album? I'm not sure I know of any band that built three straight albums around interesting conceptual themes the way Arcade Fire did. I don't really know how to describe Arcade Fire's music or what I like about it so much. It's evocative? Lyrically beautiful? Passionate and intense without being loud and brash? They weave together many different instruments without anything ever seeming out of place. They use a secondary lead singer with a very different voice and style sparingly and almost always in ways and places that fit the progression of the album. They seem to deeply mean and feel their music. Does any of this make sense? As a full album, I think I've listened to "Funeral" and "The Suburbs" more than any other album released this century? "Reflektor" (#4) and "Everything Now" (#5) didn't quite hit the same for me, and I've only listened to the whole thing a couple times each. But maybe I should give them another chance as I listen to "Funeral" and "The Suburbs" and recall how wonderful they are? Their newest, "WE," I have not listened to in full yet. From what I've heard, it may be more uneven, with highs ("Unconditional (Lookout Kid)" is fantastic) and lows ("Age of Anxiety II (Rabbit Hole)" is kind of insufferable). Has Arcade Fire's output faded over time? Is it impossible to maintain the kind of consistency they had early in their career? Regardless, with three standout albums and great songs sprinkled through three more, they earned a place as one of the best bands of the 21st century.

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Wed Aug 17 2022
5

This is a fabulous album. The driving beats and the excellent guitar work perfectly tuned to the vocals all combine for an absolute smash. Something about this music makes me feel comfortable and at home in my skin. I'm so psyched to go see two nights of AF later this year!

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Thu Aug 25 2022
5

I had somehow managed to never listen to an Arcade Fire song, so this was a great introduction. I really adored the color and arrpeggiation of the chords and the interweaving of various instruments and styles. The reviews really hype up the lyrics so I'll have to listen again in order to grasp them. The mixing initially bothered me, but my ears got used to it. It was just challenging to have the guitars louder than the vocals.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
5

Ved gjenlytt blir det klart at dette er ett av mine absolutte favorittalbum: det er lyden av sensommer og brytningstid. Tror dette vil stå seg som et såkalt «viktig» album pga. både tematikk («tidsånden») og estetikk (lyden av indierock på 2000-tallet). Klassiker!

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Fri Aug 26 2022
5

Goodie. Didn't know, but glad that i found it.

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Sun Sep 04 2022
5

Really enjoyed this one. The band seems able to write so many catchy hooks and well crafted songs

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Tue Sep 06 2022
5

Stuffy, lively, does not bring misery.

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Tue Sep 06 2022
5

This is a near perfect album for me. They haven't released anything before or since that I have liked but this one really gives me the feels. You can feel the city hollowing out, sucked in by the vacuousness of the suburbs. I was surprised it is an hour long because it has always felt fairly concise - a mark of exceptionally well crafted songs with something to say.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

Pretty great day I'm still sorry 5

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Thu Sep 08 2022
5

Mi disco favorito de AF, muy nostálgico para mí y uno que considero de los mejores de la década pasada y de lo que llevamos del siglo,

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Thu Sep 08 2022
5

Literal es el álbum de Arcade Fire que tiene más scrobbles en mi last.fm 9/10

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

Incredible album from an incredible band. The lyrics, production and instrumentals are wonderful. Admittedly I'm already a huge fan, but I feel like anyone can listen and enjoy this album. It's really disappointing what they released after this album, nothing hit me quite as hard as the first three albums. Hard to believe this was released 12 years ago.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
5

The question is not whether this is worthy of a 5. It is. The only debate is whether it is their greatest album. It is pretty much flawless it is the rare combination of concept album and great music. Saw them recently as they kicked off a world tour. This record still underpins their set list

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Sat Sep 24 2022
5

This album does many things right, but I must highlight the brilliant use of strings on many songs, that wasn't something I expected!

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Mon Sep 26 2022
5

Damn okday the title track is a strong start. Rococo has this big booming stadium sound. and then into Empty Room! what a banger! Sprawl I and II are also great. This album is fabulous, I need to relisten to get a full sounding of it.

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Fri Sep 30 2022
5

Big sprawling and maximalist, just what the doctor ordered.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

Ah, the music of my adolescence

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Wed Nov 02 2022
5

Arcade Fire are titans of the indie rock genre and this album really showcases that. Probably the last time I came close to giving a shit about the Grammys too.

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Fri Nov 04 2022
5

Wow I love this album too!!!!!

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Wed Nov 09 2022
5

Such an amazing and personally important album for me. In 2010 when it came out, we were still in deep recession, I had a one year old son (but if it's too much to ask, send me a son), and I was experiencing parenting in a hyper-vigilant culture in a big city in an underwater house. This album powerfully described all of the above, pulling me into lyrics thick with nostalgia for my feral 1980s childhood "screaming and running through the yard." Of course the suburbs of my childhood had problems too, and this album doesn't shy away from them. The truly poetic lyrics plus driving guitar-heavy rock interspersed with moments of soft pathos and amazing catchy melodies- this album is so freaking addictive. Since getting it as my album I haven't wanted to hear anything else. It ends with this piece of pure poetry and philosophy: If I could have it back, All that time that we wasted, I'd only waste it again. If I could have it back, You know I'd love to waste it again and again and again.

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Mon Nov 14 2022
5

My favourite Arcade Fire album which is a big deal considering their discography. Fantastic

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Tue Dec 06 2022
5

I love this album. Following OK Computer? Wake me up, I think I’m in Heaven!

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Wed Dec 07 2022
5

It goes on and on, but captures that weird mixture of persistent drive and ennui. Beautiful in its own way.

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Sun Dec 11 2022
5

a HAUNTINGLY BEAUTIFUL ALBUM ABOUT LIFE IN THE SUBURBS, AND THE SUBURBS IN LIFE. i ACCIDENTALLY HAD CAPS ON, IM NOT EDITING MY REVIEW.

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Tue Dec 13 2022
5

LEMBRO QUE EU DANCEI ESSA MÚSICA COM UM CAPACETE NA CABEÇA TERCEIRA MÚSICA AINDA MEXE COMIGO

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Fri Dec 16 2022
5

I feel like I've already rated this 🤔 Anyway, it's lovely, takes me back to 2010

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Fri Dec 23 2022
5

One of my favorite records of all time. Front to back, it is a classic. A characteristic of a great band is that they can write, record and perform quality songs in any style and no one is thinking, gee that was an odd departure from what this group is supposed to be playing. Zeppelin is possibly one of the best examples of that. Rock, metal, blues, folk, reggae, soul, anthems, ballads. No one seems to say, how does a band which authored Black Dog also put their names to Battle of Evermore, or Down By the Seaside, or D'yer Mak'er, or Since I've Been Loving You, or No Quarter - isn't it against the rules to be all over the map musically? Bands should stay within their lane and commit to a proven style and not confuse their audiences, right? Arcade Fire is one of those artists, like Prince, Beck, Bjork and the Beastie Boys who have thrown the rules out the window and who have writen and recorded whatever they wanted to express in whichever styles it has manifested itself as true creative forces. And particularly on this brilliant masterpiece. An unpredictable and satisfying rollercoaster, jumping from Ready to Start to City With No Children to the epic Suburban War (with hints of Springsteen) to the explosive Month of May ("how you gonna lift it with your arms.. folded.. tight..." Brilliant!) to the gem that is We Used to Wait. And seeing them live, I can say the tracks on this record translate solidly in the confines of places like Madison Square Garden, a true crucible for artists to prove the mettle of their songs. A perfect record.

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Sat Jan 07 2023
5

Sometimes I'm hit and miss on Arcade Fire. This album was a big ol' hit.

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