“The Suburbs,” Arcade Fire’s title track to their Grammy winning 2010 album, keeps calm from start to finish. At times, it does seem like it might be bordering an emotional breakdown, but the strings, keys, and Win Butler’s reassuring voice keeps everything at ease. The song’s matches the tranquil, secure atmosphere suburban life is supposed to provide, and for that reason, Arcade Fire never disrupt it with their usual anthemic outbursts. Instead, the song progresses smoothly at a consistent peace.
Mr. Little Jeans paints a different picture of “The Suburbs.” Monica Birkenes, the Ms. behind the Mr., strips the song of its green lawns, white mail boxes, and bicycle filled streets. She replaces it with haunting synth, a pulsing beat, and her looming voice. Here’s what should have been the soundtrack to The ‘Burbs, that Tom Hanks horror movie where his neighbors end up being cannibals. Birkenes provides a real alternate version to a great song.