Arcade Fire – ‘The Suburbs’ | Classic Record Review

In dedication to The Suburbs, Arcade Fire set a monumental statement based on nostalgia, and heartbreak

All you need to do to write one of the best songs of the 2010’s, is use four chords on repeat, and you’re done. Arcade Fire go over the top on their high-end orchestral instrumentation and it always pay off and usually let the lyricism be the at forefront of their music. Being able to write music based on fiction is one thing, but when you write one based on personal realism, gives amazing rewards. Similar to their opening debut album, Funeral. Based on death and mourning, they were able to record all the songs within a week, and as a result, created one of the best rock albums ever made.

Even with the opening lyrics on ‘The Suburbs‘; “In the suburbs, I / I learned to drive / And you told me we’d never survive / Grab your mother’s keys, we’re leaving” The song is about life in the suburbs, and the rest of the album goes in on how the suburbs eventually play out. The opening track is a memoriam to the memories you had growing up, and how life changed, you grew up, and how everything could’ve played out different. The instrumentation is repeated throughout the song and yet, it never gets boring.

The folky, four-to-the-floor instrumentation is pleasant and nonchalant. Then as the song ends it slowly, but eventually, flows into the next track ‘Ready to Start‘ And this pattern is repeated throughout the rest of the track. “Ready to Start” is a grand statement where we hear Win wear his heart on his sleeve. The song can be interpreted as a critique of capitalism, or just hating your average working life. ‘Empty Room’ gives a full on rush of ecstasy. The amount of energy in this short three-minute song is insane. With heavy drums, blistering strings, the song never bores as it’s filled with life. ‘City With No Children‘ roars vocally and goes on about about how a city with no children, isn’t a city at all. Because there is no future and the city eventually dies.

Month of May‘ almost sounds like a Vampire Weekend track: full of electro-indie-pop sidelined with a revival-punk sound. But as well as the instrumentations, it’s the meaning behind the album. The album is nearly similar to a concept album: a depiction of leaving the suburbs as a child and the journey that followed. But an album like this is extremely rare to come by. Just over an hour long, it never once gets boring. Truly, a gem of an album.

Words by Lewis Baker

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