I seem to arrive late to most pop culture parties, and this Grammy-winner is no exception. But I feel compelled to write about it after it received all of its accolades because, dag nab it, The Suburbs is fantastic. Everyone should listen to it.
I’m a huge fan of Funeral, but when I heard the opening track of The Suburbs, I was instantly hooked. Arcade Fire has this magical way of making their music seem messy and almost unrehearsed or unfinished, yet it is executed perfectly every time. They create a beautiful, but not intimidating wall of sound with all those singers and instrumentalists filling their performance space, too. It’s about time something real and gritty and weird took a mainstream award like a Grammy. I know I’ll look back on the music I listened to in my twenties and be proud that Arcade Fire was well-liked by most and frequently-played by… me.
I cannot choose my favorite song. I like them all. (Please don’t make me choose.) It might be “Modern Man” one moment, with its crazy time signature; it might be “City With No Children” the next, with its radio-friendly guitar and drums; it might be “Empty Room,” with its ethereal speed; or it might be “Rococo,” with Win Butler’s slow-burn vocal passion. Doesn’t matter. All I know is that the varying musical styles somehow come together to form this lovely, poetic album that captures the disparity of the suburbs while also making a topic so ugly and impersonal seem beautiful. And I’m not passing up an opportunity to see them live. Coachella must have been epic:
Win Butler, you crazy-haired maniac, you are a musical genius. More, please.