no81bob top 20 2011: No 7 Sprawl II (Mountains beyond mountains) – The Arcade Fire
The Arcade Fire are the rock critics’ darlings, a 7-strong Canadian ensemble categorised as indie and playing everything from the guitar to the glockenspiel. If their first two albums were widely applauded, The Suburbs was positively swooned over picking up many awards at the end of last year. Live, they draw on further members to make a fair crowd on stage. The musical style is eclectic ranging from 80′s synth to punk, to mid-range rock to chamber music enthused with a high energy beat. And that’s what I’ve loved with The Suburbs – you never know where they’re taking you musically or thematically. Its been about escape and return for me. The desire to escape from the Suburbs (whatever they symbolically means for each of us) and then how it draws you back even as you want to escape. And the car is that method of escape and freedom – mother’s keys are the keys to life. Even if they are for a square steering wheeled Austin Allegro.
Favourites? Musically the wonderfully melodic title track The Suburbs and the anthemic Rococo have stayed in my head all week. For sheer uplift the penultimate Sprawl II makes me want to really turn the dial up and celebrate – very New Order/ OMD with a Canadian twist. While I’m driving along, of course.
Video of the week therefore has to be Sprawl II performed live at Madison Square Garden, wonderful energy.