Suburbia is a world of picket fences, apple pie, desperation, and paranoia. Arcade Fire explores this uniquely American landscape on their third album, The Suburbs. Largely inspired by brothers Win and William Butler's Texas childhood, the album is an art-rock record with arena rock sensibility.
Win Butler sings of spending time driving around with nothing to do, staring out the window dreaming of the world beyond. Although these sentiments are framed as distant memories, Butler cannily notes that not much has changed: "You watch the life you are living disappear / and now I see, we're still kids in buses trying to be free."
The dark tone of the lyrics is balanced by music that pushes the band's anthemic tendencies. It's a new dimension to the band that expands Arcade Fire's compelling live show. Even if you missed the sold-out rock spectacle at Merriweather Post Pavilion earlier this month, there's still a chance to dive into one of the best albums of the year.