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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Suburbs breed poetry

    Who knew suburban life could inspire such poetry? Arcade Fire make the macabre addictive again with The Suburbs, released this month.

    The Montreal-based musicians have shifted their chilling, lyrically-powered lens toward life in suburbia, detailing repressive boredom, listlessness and just what those kids are up to in their signature anthemic sheen. Frontman Win Butler croons: “”I know we are the chosen few/But we’re wasted/And that’s why we’re still waiting.”” Such tragic romance for white picket fences and a car parked in every driveway.

    Yet Arcade Fire do not wholeheartedly disparage the suburbs as a dreamless wasteland. Rather, it is a place where kids “”seem wild but they are so tame/They’re moving towards you with their colors all the same.”” Sometimes being asleep isn’t so easy to recognize.

    The album, at times, becomes frantic, decrying the soullessness of this heavily-constructed environment, as heard in the laid-back, vampy track, “”City With No Children””: “”I feel like I’ve been living in/A city with no children in it/A garden left for ruin by a millionaire inside/Of a private prison.”” Of course it’s hell. But it’s home.

    It’s also central to Arcade Fire’s identity, as sung in “”Wasted Hours””: “”We’re still kids in buses longing to be free.”” The birthplace of angst isn’t all bad — what would Arcade Fire be without the suburbs?

    Another notable track include the velvety-smooth “”Half Light,”” an exemplary use of the minor chord. Butler and Régine Chassagne’s duet is a testament to the versatility of the band, with Chassagne’s less-often-heard voice adding an ethereal dimension to the album.

    Overall, The Suburbs is an opus to the beautiful disaster that is life too-comfortable. And if it keeps creating music like this, it’s probably good if it’s here to stay. Arcade Fire prove that something really tremendous can come out of nothing.

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