The Suburbs

The much maligned “suburbs” get a new appraisal thanks to Arcade Fire. Instead of rejecting the trappings of tract neighborhoods, the band offers a complex examination of how the boundaries, values, and emotions of the environment turn us into the people we are. A constant search for excitement creates rivalries between subdivisions that rapidly dissipate into boredom, long afternoons are punctuated by drives in Mom’s car, and childhood memories spur the longing for our own families – all this is set against Arcade Fire’s epic wall of sound. Odd rhythms create an edge that builds to angst. Every song clangs with competing keyboards, guitars, and drums. Win Butler delivers his assessment of the suburbs in a voice that is both fragile and wistful.

Rosemary Welsch (Afternoon Mix Host)