**1/2 out of *****
I’d like to applaud Win Butler and the gang for having the courage to take a bold and decidedly unhip stance against the suburbs.
But seriously folks - did you know that growing up in the suburbs can be an alienating experience? You will after making it through these 16 tracks. Win Butler and the Arcade Fire have been christened “The Next Springsteen” and the “Indie U2” by several critics but after listening to this album it seems obvious to me that Pink Floyd is the better analogy. Not since The Wall has there been an album with this many songs that so pedantically focuses on such a simple theme. Add in a melodramatic stage show, a fair amount of pretentiousness, “profound” lyrics that speak in platitudes and you have to wonder when Roger Waters will sue for royalties.
All the repetition might be easier to swallow if the record wasn’t so front loaded. There are six excellent songs that begin this album and make me wish that they had been released alone as an EP. Although you might not be able to tell from this review I really do like this band. Funeral is in my top 100 albums and Neon Bible had its moments. I’m afraid that this band will fall in to the trap that so many bands have and churn out a steady stream of releases that have a handful of memorable moments surrounded by mediocrity.