Sunday, August 15, 2010
Destination: The Suburbs
This is a late post for me since this album released on August 3rd. Apologies for it, but as with all Arcade Fire albums, I need a week of solitude with frequent listenings.
And as per usual, I fell deeply in love with it.
I've been listening to the Arcade Fire since the tail end of my senior year of high school. The first song I heard by them was Rebellion (Lies) and the change in tempo at the 1:50 mark (or the dropoff as I call it) was remarkable. I'm not the most spiritual girl in the world, but this album was truly a deep listening experience. I couldn't bear the thought of waiting to order it online, so my mom and I went on a Borders journey that was like my version of finding the Holy Grail to find the first album, Funeral. I listened to it obsessively, likewise with the second album Neon Bible. Enjoying the theatrics in songs like Black Mirror and the teary wistfulness of wanting in Crown of Love. During autumn, I used to go for walks energized with Keep the Car Running as my background song and in the winter, running through the snow with Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) seemed perfectly placed.
They're my favorite band of all time. My music taste is prone to change without warning often, but the Arcade Fire holds too much of my heart in their music. It seems to me like Win Butler and Regine Chassagne (the husband and wife singing duo leading the seven member band) know far too often what I'm thinking and how I feel.
With the new album, The Suburbs, we literally went back to the suburbs. A place that I haven't lived in for years, but lately felt the pull in my heart to return to. Simply for the safety of it. It stays simple and quiet and safe. Of course, the safety of it all reminds me of just how bored I was there, but these days, when nothing in my life feels like it will stay still or not be unpredictable for one moment, I miss the safety of nothing occurring. I think the band understood this feeling of growing up, of losing innocence and in my case at least, desperately clinging to it in small ways.
I love the title track The Suburbs for capturing all of these feelings perfectly. It's as though they reached into my heart, dumped the contents onto a table and made music out of it. This track segued into Ready to Start, a fast paced song about being with someone versus just being alone (there are a lot of interpretations to this song, but I came away with this one.) "I would rather be wrong/Than live in the shadows of your song" is one of my favorite lines.
Rococo, a glittering gem of a song, is about culture and how we're so obsessed with appearance and fixated with getting it just right, but really losing the point in the process, if we ever understood it at all. It makes me feel like smashing everything related to pop culture and throwing it all away because in the end, what it is all about? Why can't we just be without appearing or pretending to be? It's deep, I'm telling you. Very thoughtful to say least.
Empty Room thrives in a whirling frenzied beat while Half Light II (No Celebration) brings more celebration than you'd think (I imagine it being lit with candles.) Month of May is now on my own personal life soundtrack. The entire song sounds like a race to the finish. 2009, 2010/Wanna make a record how I felt then/When we stood outside in the month of May/And watched the violent wind blow the wires away. It sounds exactly like how I wanted to be this fully published accomplished author by then, but could not due to lack of inspiration and other sidetracking items.
If you listen to one song on this album, make it Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains). Damn. This song is too powerful for words. Just the lyrics alone arrest me in the fact that they are everything I've ever heard in my head over and over, and that I know I'm not alone in this feeling. Not now, not ever.
"They heard me singing and they told me to stop,
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock,
These days, my life, I feel it has no purpose,
But late at night the feelings swim to the surface.
Cause on the surface the city lights shine,
They're calling at me, "come and find your kind."
Love to you all,