Arcade Fire’s run at the top of the charts was short lived. The Suburbs was a surprise chart topper in its first week of release, but sales inevitably fell off once every emo kid had it synced on their ipod. This week, the planets have realigned and Eminem has claimed his rightful place atop the Billboard pop chart.
Even so, it’s an impressive step forward for Win Butler and his band of Canadian misfits. If you haven’t yet given The Suburbs a listen, you’re missing out on a clear favorite to end up on most everyone’s year-end list.
After the minimalist turn on Neon Bible, Arcade Fire’s third album takes the grandeur and conceptual structure of Funeral and stretches it out with the maturity and confidence of a fully realized band. The added texture and expanded instrumentation is evident throughout, particularly on tracks like “Half Light II”:
However, all this sobering reflection on lost youth and fear of growing old hasn’t turned Arcade Fire into an introspective bunch on stage. As their recent “Unstaged” series attests, their reputation for a dynamic and even interactive live show remains intact:
So despite making a dime-sized-hail dent in the pop culture consciousness, Arcade Fire is poised to make a slow build to an arena near you. I mean, if Kings of Leon can do it…