Friday, July 30, 2010

Album Mini Reviews: The Suburbs, The Orchard, and Serotonin

There has been quite a few exciting new album releases lately, mainly exciting because they come from some of my favorite artists, so I decided to do three mini reviews instead of three long, drawn-out, full reviews.

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Looking back, Arcade Fire has been one of the prime acts as far as revolutionizing the Indie Rock scene, Funeral was a genre defining hit, and as far as I'm concerned, one of the top albums of the decade. With that said, they've never been able to catch up with it, like many before them, such as De La Soul, or The Strokes, their first effort always trumps the others. Neon Bible proved that Arcade Fire are great at creating good, hard-hitting, allbeit somewhat pretentious albums, even if it couldn't stand up to Funeral. The Suburbs is somewhat the same.

There are 16 tracks on the album, and they are all great, fun to listen to, and different from Funeral. These are straight forward songs, with each one feeling less conceptual and less consistent than Funerals amount of focus and concentration. There are gems in here, that I know I will be listening to for months to come, just like I did with Neon Bible, but I fear that Funeral will still always find its way on to my Vinyl player, or booming through my stereo for DECADES to come, and as unfortunate as that is, The Suburbs is still a great album. Album Rating = 9.0/10
Great Track suggestions:
Empty Room
Wasted Hours
We Used to Wait

Ra Ra Riot - The Orchard
Straight-forward indie pop, that's what I used to think of when I thought about Ra Ra Riot, possibly with a slight favoritism on an orchestral backdrop. But Ra Ra Riot has skewed that perception with their new release, The Orchard.

The Orchard is a deeper album, relying heavier on the cello and violin than in their previous work. From the opening of the album, a weightier and more introspective presence is felt, even when the beat picks up into a dancier tone. The indie pop jive is still there, it's still fun and danceable, but there is still the possibility for this album to be more versatile, and even be more of an alone listening experience. Wes's voice on the album is sad, somber, and still shrill, adding shades of grey to the bright and fun visage still felt in some of the songs. A nice album, with lots of potential to propel these guys to bigger heights. Album Rating = 8.7/10
Great Track suggestions:
Too Dramatic

Mystery Jets - Serotonin
The Mystery Jets have had their british-indie-pop hooks in my brain since their release of Twenty One a couple years back, which made me move backward to their older and more mature release, Making Dens. Both are great albums, with Serotonin being a nice blend of the two.

Serotonin seems to basically be a safe release from Mystery Jets, and even if it is, it's still fun, danceable, and hellbent on bringing up thoughts of young love, lost love, and more lovey-dovey bullshit, but you can't help but love the Mystery Jets for it. Serotonin has a light air of forgettability written on most of it, with a couple gems bouncing about the release. The love-cautionary duo on the album "Too Late to Talk" and "The Girl is Gone" couple together nicely, becoming two of my new favorites in my Mystery Jets library. This album isn't something that will become a classic anytime soon, but nonetheless it is a fine addition to the brit-pop-scene. Album Rating = 7.8/10
Great Track Suggestions:
Too Late To Talk
The Girl Is Gone
Lady Grey


  1. Do you have a short list of all the albums you reviewed with their scores out of 10? I like finding new albums but I hate reading reviews lol. Unless its psychological or philosophical or something pertaining to the history of it, then it doesn't really make sense to me to read about something that would be better heard.

  2. I usually bold the scores so people that don't wanna read them can just scroll around and easily find them.

  3. I might do that though, at the end of the month, just score everything and post all the scores at once...good Idea!