The Suburbs

Barnes & Noble: A Tribute

What the reviled chain did for literary culture

Allow me a moment to sing the praises of Waldenbooks—yes, Waldenbooks, the Borders subsidiary that privileged grab-and-go buying ahead of casual browsing. It was the kind of place you went when you needed to buy a book but didn’t particularly care for bookstores.

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Arcade Kindling

Nicely timed to capitalize on the boom market for breezy fun in the month of August, Arcade Fire’s third album, The Suburbs, supplanted Eminem’s dreary Recovery on the top of the pop-music charts this week. The Arcade Fire album is the band’s most tuneful and bouncy—irresistible pop dressed up in the indie-music uniform of fiddles, accordion, and twang, the sonic equivalent of Ben Sherman shirts and thrift-store wingtips. Lyrically, The Suburbs has vaguely to do with entering adulthood without submitting to the conformity that the suburbs represent, simplistically, in the album.

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Arcade Kindling

Nicely timed to capitalize on the boom market for breezy fun in the month of August, Arcade Fire’s third album, The Suburbs, supplanted Eminem’s dreary Recovery on the top of the pop-music charts this week. The Arcade Fire album is the band’s most tuneful and bouncy—irresistible pop dressed up in the indie-music uniform of fiddles, accordion, and twang, the sonic equivalent of Ben Sherman shirts and old wingtips. Lyrically, The Suburbs has vaguely to do with entering adulthood without submitting to the conformity that the suburbs represent, simplistically, in the album.

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