06:32 AM on 08/07/10
Good review, but I feel that the things you bring up as faults of the album are misguided. The repetition of certain lines and ideas ("Going out for a drive" / the constant mentions of "The Suburbs") are completely necessary, in my opinion. The Suburbs go on and on and on and on, and it's just a constant repetition of what you've seen before - Chilis, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Starbucks, Chilis, Bed Bath....and so forth. Each time he brings these things up, especially the idea of going out driving as something that used to be relaxing and enjoyable becomes symbolic of the endless drag and ennui that bogs people down stuck in the plod of life.
All of that comes to a head in Sprawl I & II - they have to be at the very end of the album. Those suburbs that they lived in as children have become a giant, uniform monstrosity, in which they literally and figuratively can't find their way home. Sprawl II strikes me as the beaten down acceptance of this being the protagonists' lives now - Quit those pretentious things and just punch the clock.
But that's just my take.