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We’re a day late getting this online, and already, Arcade Fire‘s anticipated third album, The Suburbs, seems to have generated a long and full debate. Pitchfork is a fan; The Washington Post‘s Chris Richards is not. For the most part, the notices are enthusiastic.
Washington City Paper‘s Ramon Ramirez is less chipper, however. He says the album’s denunciation of the colorless suburbs ignores the fact that America’s urban centers can be just as soul-stiffling:
listening to Régine Chassagne dramatize a lonely drive through vast sprawl like it’s an apocalyptic nightmare loses something when the Red Line is tardy, crammed, and lacks air conditioning. Not unlike Butler’s suburbs, urban centers on the East Coast can feel exhausting. Not having a car and spending an hour commuting five miles is rarely fun. Cities combine culture and industry with pollution, isolation, and old, unsettling wealth. At least you don’t get that in Texas. There are sleazeball millionaires, sure, but Jerry Jones builds big football stadiums and chases fake blondes. It makes sense, goddammit.