The soon-to-be Grammy winners for Album of the Year (so I boldly predict) have put together a collection of 16 tracks, including multi-part songs, based on suburban life. Topics related to kids and urban sprawl are a thread throughout.
The title track opens the album and it is nothing short of spectacular. The restrained voice of lead singer Win Butler (husband of bandmate Regine Chassagne) is ultra-soothing. In the chorus "Sometimes I can't believe it / I'm moving past the feeling", "sometimes" is sung at a pitch slightly above his vocal range (think Jay Chou's Hei Se You Mo.) But it works, and there's an undeniable quiet that pervades the song - albeit an indie rock kind of quiet.
In Empty Room, usual backing vocalist Chassagne takes lead vocal duties, and certainly proves she's up to the task. This is one of the more fast-paced songs on the album, which shows the versatility of the band. She also sings the lead on retro synth-pop tune Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains), with the same masterful results.
Outro The Suburbs (Continued) is a violin-driven song that fades to the barely audible whisper of the chorus, winding down an epic album worthy of high praise. The Suburbs will be talked about for a long, long time.