A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Suburbs is like a lot of albums by young indie rockers: it includes many somewhat cryptic lyrics about growing up and discovering your identity. While the messages here may be indirect, they are almost entirely free of adult content, lacking graphic language or adult references beyond a kiss or two. In the end, the record is a good option for older tweens and teens.
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What's the story?
THE SUBURBS is the Grammy-nominated third album by indie darlings Arcade Fire. The collection of 16 songs holds true to the indie formula: not a ton of swearing, sex, substance use, or violence, but some melancholic and brooding messages about trying to figure out one's place in the world. Still, the CD deviates from the indie pack in its somewhat more hopeful, positive overall outlook. For instance, "They heard me singing and they told me to stop
Is it any good?
Musically, The Suburbs mirrors its lyrical approach -- lots of infectious guitar-based arrangements that sound at once haunting and upbeat ("Deep Blue" and "Empty Room" are good examples"). Husband and wife members Win Butler and Régine Chassagne share lead vocals to good effect, keeping the interest level high throughout the record's evolution.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about indie rock. What makes a song or record "indie"?
Is indie-rock cooler than mainstream pop? Why or why not?
This album has been critically acclaimed; what makes it so special and worthy of accolades?
Talk about the messages these songs contain about
keeping it real. In "Rococo" the band sings, "Let's go
downtown and talk to the modern kids...using great big words that they
don't understand...they say 'rococo.'" How can a person stay down to
earth in a world where everyone is trying to impress each other?