by Janessa Demeule
With their new album The Suburbs, Arcade Fire announces their return to indie rock and reminds listeners what true writing talent is. Hailing from Canada, Arcade Fire is fronted by Win Butler and Régine Chassagne and backed by five other members.
The Suburbs is a tale of living life as an adult wishing for younger days, with reality far more unsatisfactory than what we have imagined it to be as young adults. The album mirrors the agony of growing up and becoming an adult. While the loss of youth and the increase of bills to pay is a depressing song to listen to, Arcade Fire makes it work for all 16 tracks.
As bleak as growing up can be, the weight that past albums held is gone from this album. The reality of which they sing is overbearing at times and it becomes redundant. A failure to reach potentials is a theme throughout the album. On the track “Modern Man,” Butler sings about lost potential and the desire to break away from his mundane life. The lyrics are simple yet striking: “In my dream I was almost there / But you pulled me aside and said you’re going nowhere / I know we are the chosen few / But we’re wasted / And that’s why we’re still waiting / In line for a number but you don’t understand / Like a modern man.” On the album’s fifth track, “Empty Rooms,” a bit of the old Arcade Fire reveals itself. Fueled by string instruments and Butler and Chassange’s duet vocals, it is an album highlight. It was a breath of fresh air in the smog that has been this summer’s music output.
Suggested Tracks: “Empty Room,” “Sprawl I (Flatland),” “City With No Children” and “Modern Man.”