No. 1: Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
If 2007′s Neon Bible wore the weight of the world on it’s shoulders, then The Suburbs focusses on problems slightly closer to home. Just round the corner in fact. Through the lyrical journey of disaffected kids hanging around on sulphur-lit street corners, sneering at Butler and his gang, Arcade Fire made an album that is not only far more varied than its predecessor, but also just a little lighter.
Take the bar room piano of the opening title track, the disco of We Used To Wait or the Abba inspired Srawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) – these are the works of a group less concerned with reaching for the U2-isms of the world’s problems and revelling in being able to mould an album around a concept as simple as revisiting an old stomping ground and seeing how it’s changed.
An unstoppable epic. An unquestionable triumph. The album of the year.