The Suburbs (Deluxe Edition) |
It's been a slow summer for rock, so it's a perfect time to revisit The Suburbs, Arcade Fire's vast sonic expanse that shocked the music world when it-deservedly-won Album of the Year at the Grammys last February. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of its release, the set has just been reissued in a two-disc deluxe edition. Like all great albums, this one gets better with time. Just in the first three songs-the ragtimey title tune, the garage-charged "Ready to Start" and the Bowie-esque "Modern Man"-The Suburbs covers more territory than most bands would hope to do in an entire album. Two new tracks extend the journey respectfully: the mellow, musing "Culture War" and the Talking Heads-ish "Speaking in Tongues," which, appropriately, features guest vocals by David Byrne. Meanwhile a DVD includes Scenes from the Suburbs, a Spike Jonze-directed short film inspired by the album that only makes the whole thing more hauntingly nostalgic.
Talk about a motley crew: Mick Jagger teams up with Damian Marley, Joss Stone, Eurythmic Dave Stewart and Slumdog Millionaire scorer A.R. Rahman in this new collective. Get a preview of their self-titled debut, due Sept. 20, with "Miracle Worker," a divine reggae-pop jam.
KIDZ BOP 20
The latest release from the kids' music juggernaut features catchy, if ultralite, covers of hits "Born This Way" and "Rolling in the Deep."
The popular trio return, this time with a superhero bent. Kids who prefer playing Robin to Batman finally get a tune of their own: the witty "Sidekick."
Former indie rocker Ben Gundersheimer pairs bluegrass, bossa nova and more with clever wordplay. "Shark in My Bathtub" is irresistible.
KIDS WORLD PARTY
Putumayo's latest features songs from India, South Africa and beyond. An eclectic mix that can easily double as grown-up brunch music.
JOANIE LEEDS AND THE NIGHTLIGHTS
WHAT A ZOO!
Animal-crazed kids will dig these tunes, including "Mosquitoes," "Tofurky Song" and "Froggie Went a Courtin'," a swingy spin on the classic children's ballad.
ON PERFORMING HIS HITS ACOUSTICALLY
It's been a total blast to reinvent the songs. Sometimes it takes simplifying and stripping it back down to almost the way it was when I wrote it to uncover new things.
ON HIS CAREER PATH
In my 20s I thought, "I'm not the guy that's gonna have 25 years of hits." Only a handful of people sustain that kind of popularity. Producing and songwriting [for others] are more fun and rewarding. I just want to be on the team. I don't have to be in the starting lineup. And the way I keep my jersey is I collaborate.
ON WHO'S RECORDED AT HIS HOME STUDIO
Everybody from Keith Urban
to 'N Sync to Chris Daughtry to Vince Gill. The first song Keith and I wrote together was "Better Life," and it's one of his biggest hits. Chris is a sweetheart-I'm a big fan. Every really fun collaboration has fallen in my lap. The one [I'd want to pursue] would be Rod Stewart. I believe I could make a great record for him.
ON HIS KIDS
Brandon, 20, is my favorite singer. [Actor] Lucas, 18, is more soulful as a person than I was at that age. And Jesse, 17, is keeping showbiz at bay, but he's musically talented. If I needed backup vocals, I used to go, "Whoever's in the house, come to the studio!"
Hold on 'til the Night
Just shy of 14, this prodigy-discovered singing "Paparazzi" on YouTube, then signed by Ellen DeGeneres-makes an impressive debut that owes as much to Coldplay as Bieber.
Rabbits on the Run
In the age of Gaga, Katy and Rihanna
, even a pensive female singer-songwriter like Carlton might be tempted to dye her hair blue. But artful, piano-led pop like this never goes out of style.
We the Best Forever
Pulling a Santana for the hip-hop nation, this producer-deejay hosts a hot party packed with rap and R&B stars, from Drake and Lil Wayne (both on the hit "I'm on One") to Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown.
Here I Am
The Destiny's Child diva's third solo effort is a solid set of contemporary R&B and dance-pop. Even with a career-milestone hit like "Motivation," though, it still all adds up to less than Beyonce's 4.