Arcade Fire

The Suburbs

It may not be Funeral II, but Arcade Fire’s latest offering is certainly nothing to scoff at. For their fourth album, the Montreal-based collective has scaled things back in many ways (fewer members, fewer building violin solos), leaving plenty of room for the lyrics to shine. And shine they do. Suburbs is undeniably Win Butler’s record, and the frontman works hard to carry his messages of midlife crises and everyman desperation past their clichéd expectations. What we get in return is a collection of slow burning gut-wrenchers (“Wasted Hours,” “Modern Man”) and reverberating foot-stompers (“Ready to Start,” “Sprawl II”) that both call out to the band’s untouchable breakthrough and push them in a new direction entirely. So though this road has its bumps (“City with No Children” sounds just a little too Bon Jovi for anyone to take seriously), it ultimately finds Arcade Fire poignantly flirting with the same thing we’re all so afraid of: growing up.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Increase in H2A Farmworkers Raises Housing Concerns

Santa Barbara County supervisors moving to streamline permit process.

Cannabis Taxes Generate $1.8 Million

Santa Barbara County releases first quarterly report.

City Closes In on New Police Station Location

Santa Barbara's Saturday Farmers Market may lose its 35-year site.

Homeless Could Get ‘Tiny Box’ Homes Downtown

Neighbors complain as City Hall fast-tracks grant application.

Ethnic Studies to Become Graduation Requirement

School board votes unanimously for 2023 start date.