Reviews in 200 Words

The Suburbs by Arcade Fire

In Album on August 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm

The myth about growing up in America is that everyone fits some type. But if you weren’t Daria, or Wayne, Garth, Beavis or Butthead, Samantha Baker or Matthew McConaughey in “Dazed and Confused” – well then who the hell were you? Anxious awkwardness is the only tie that binds. City mouse, country mouse, jock, nerd, queen bee or teacher’s pet – we were all trying to figure it out. We still are. It’s easy to forget these are songs:  sixteen of them, sprawling like the album’s namesake. Tense, orchestral (even danceable) songs see the band’s collective eye falling on the lives hermetically sealed behind manicured lawns. Like dogs penned in by invisible fences, suburbanites can only watch tv, dream of modernity and then go out and cruise the flavorless subdivisions. The track housing. Malls rising “like mountains beyond mountains.” The analysis stings. Memories are dredged. Learning to drive, learning to navigate the halls, teaching yourself to be a cheerleader or a band geek, a mom or a meathead. “Like a record that’s skipping I’m a modern man,” Win Butler sings, and we know it’s true. We’re all punching the clock.

-Jay Cullis


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