Thoughts on The Suburbs

So with Arcade Fire shocking pretty much everyone by winning album of the year at the Grammys Sunday night, I figured it be a good opportunity to weigh in on The Suburbs, especially considering that I didn't include it on my 2010 Albums of The Year list.

So why didn't I? Well, the easy answer is that there were five albums I liked better. If I had done an "honorable mention" category this year it probably would have made that. But the honest answer is I just couldn't ever really connect with it. Maybe it's because they were trying to reflect the mundane uniformity of suburban life, but it all seemed a bit samey to me. It just didn't have the same dynamic range that their previous albums have. That said, I totally understand why it won the Grammy. Their competition for album of the year included some hugely popular artists, but their CDs were more collections of songs. The Suburbs is an album in the truest sense of the word. It's a cohesive whole. And in this age where the single song download is king, it's becoming rare that artists actually make albums that are meant to be listed to an hour at a time.

Despite the fact that I didn't love the album, I'm thrilled that they won it. How can you not like a band that has stuck with it's respected indie label when it easily could have jumped to a major? Or that after winning the Grammy, they dropped the price of the album on their website to $5.99? I was so unimpressed with the list of Grammy nominees this year that for the first time since I can remember, I didn't watch a single second of the broadcast. So it's good to see for an awards show that lost it's credibility with me a long time ago, they can still occasionally get something right.

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