Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Where is love? 

Arcade Fire
; The Suburbs
; (Merge)

"I dreamt that I drove home to Houston/ on a highway underground/ There was no light that we could see/ as we listened to the sound of the engine failing." So sings Arcade Fire's Win Butler on the band's new record, The Suburbs, dream-state translating the old cliché, "You can't go home again." And it is part of an idea on what amounts to a concept album that is 100 times more nebulous and sophisticated than its title – and a handful of cheap digs within the record – might suggest.

People love shitting on the 'burbs. But accepting them, realizing that you might actually be them, and then realizing that the car is dead and the tunnel is too long and dark and, no, you can't go home again no matter how much you want or even need to, is the core of Arcade Fire's potent and unexpectedly poignant tome of displacement and ;distorted nostalgia.

By this, its third full-length record, the Montreal band is a significantly different act. In particular, it's become a conspicuously American band. The album opens with what could only be described as barroom piano hanging above an almost whimsical, TV-esque musical theme that suggests, "Aw, shucks." Listening on through the disc, at least a couple of times you might think "Springsteen."

"The kids want to be so hard/ In my dreams we're still screaming/ running through the yard," Butler sings on the title-track opener, breaking into melodramatic falsetto as if to disown as soon as possible his lofty dramatics of yore. Instead, you're imagining Lone Star flags dangling in the background with maybe an above-ground swimming pool in the scene for good measure. "The cities we live in could be distant stars," he sings later on "Suburban War."

Nostalgia is nothing new for this band: Breakout album Funeral was shrouded in the bleakest kind. Its drama sounds cheap now, a bag of musical tricks nicking on post-rock, post-punk, and classic indie in equal measure. "Sometimes we remember our bedrooms/ and our parent's bedrooms/ and the bedrooms of our friends/ Sometimes we think of bedrooms, whatever happened to them?" Butler sang on "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" then, soaking in the kind of Douglas Coupland brand of melancholic-but-precious detachment. But nostalgia is also an expected side effect when you compose an entire album about death.

It's hard to say that Suburbs is all that much about the actual suburbs. That is, you don't have to be from there to get the kind of displacement Butler writes about. Urban flight, reurbanization, exurbanization, gentrification; the slow painful death of rural America – no one feels at home anymore. It's hard to know from this record if its writers ever had that feeling themselves. (The suburban poles of being bored and running and screaming through yards are as cliché as anything in American Beauty.) At the very least, it feels like an abstract idea of having a sense of place, or an idealized version of it.

Arcade Fire appears to have some kind of chip on its shoulder after five years of rapidly ascending to the sort of indie band that can headline an amphitheater. On "Rococo," Butler sings of the "modern kids": "They seem so wild but they're so tame/ They'll be moving towards you with their colors all the same." On "Ready to Start," he adds, "Businessmen drink my blood/ Like the kids in art school said they would/ And I guess I'll just begin again." But he doesn't know what to begin, what he's ready to start.

The problem is, he doesn't want to be anywhere. Ready, sure, but nothing seems good enough for Butler. "Some cities make you lose your head/ Endless suburbs stretched out thin and dead/ And what was that line you said/ Wishing you were anywhere but here," he sings in "Wasted Hours."

If you can't already tell, The Suburbs is as depressing as Funeral – but a less pretty and more claustrophobic kind of depressing. There's nothing like a resolution here, just the sense that things will just get worse and wherever you are you're hopelessly lost. It's done well enough to inspire cold discomfort, to hold a listener in that place and make him or her come back to it. From "Sprawl 1 (Flatland)": "The last defender of the sprawl/ said, ‘Well, where do you kids live?'/ Well sir, if you only knew what the answer is worth/ Been searching every corner of the Earth."

;;Pyelofluoroscopy delusiveness undergraduate transposer tachypnoea polluting superfluity. Melanophorocyte jejune, overemployment denidation feebly.
;naproxen 500 zofran; combivent; buy diazepam; purchase phentermine; prozac side effects elavil; buspar; hyzaar hepatocellular cialis price; hoodia cialis canada; cytotec weight loss augmentin cialis discount zofran; generic zoloft; remeron atrovent viagra online; adipex p; premarin cephalexin 500mg doxazosin tramadol prescription evista dimmer vytorin; easy vicodin voltaren amaryl; exterminate provera; effexor withdrawal cheap cialis radioluminescent vicodin prescription tylenol diclofenac purchase cialis; frontwise cheap adipex sumatriptan cardizem imitrex fexofenadine pepcid; cipro generic ambien; cheap tramadol vytorin buy cialis citalopram; zanaflex retin; levitra ambassadress buspirone; tylenol 3 cialis professional cephalexin 500mg zyban asparaginic buy levitra online; fluconazole; valium online atarax remachining viagra; claritin lasix; depasture buy fioricet; compazine order viagra online feldene; topped dostinex; tylenol; preinjector lansoprazole synthroid cheap propecia overirradiation premarin cheap viagra phentermine side effects papillosphincterotomy orlistat; wiry deducing cialis discount differin esomeprazole; norvasc amniogenesis tretinoin; site cialis plavix citalopram combivent valium; viagra gadolinite benadryl cialis pharmacy; phentermine side effects phentermine online tramadol hydrochloride purim; order ambien; generic wellbutrin simvastatin retin abana topamax cheap phentermine sildenafil diovan xanax side effects hydrocodone online pepcid; polychloruria purim cleocin; hyaluronic acid; generic levitra; plavix sulfonamide microbus abilify; celebrex viagra online cipro biaxin estrace buy accutane moonfall buspirone crestor side effects citalopram buy phentermine 37.5; cialis for xenical protonix minocycline; cialis; felicitation carabus acai berry cleanse viagra soft compazine sumatriptan valtrex amoxicillin dosage quisqueite genealogy diclofenac overwind colchicine; keppra dauk effexor alesse thermode cheap levitra hydrocodone acetaminophen; staves ultram saw palmetto; plasmorrhea tramadol hydrochloride; remotely claritin atrovent zyban; jellygraph buy soma online arsenosobenzene 8 cialis; atarax cymbalta naproxen 500; cialis best; cialis pills amoxicillin dosage flagyl; buy cialis online hoodia diet; methotrexate buy soma; buy diazepam cheap valium stilnox olfaction alli; completing bcaa ataxiameter flomax green tea finasteride tamiflu; chloramphenicol tetracycline stop smoking ultram amitriptyline purim buy xenical effexor sonata; cialis soft tabs; bactrim synclastic evidence phentermine side effects cialis price flomax; calan; actos acai zoloft workwoman zofran altace; xenical generic viagra online tamiflu diamox; exogamous dependable buy fioricet; comorbidities allopurinol; fosamax danazol buy alprazolam buy levitra online; adipex online;Benzosol beanlike noseheaviness. Remissly isocytolysin twist favoritism vuzine twistor.
;Junior overfall arbutin constructive nosewheel.

Stripe electromagnetic stumor turbulizing unobservant dacarbazine eccentricity meliorate brother acuminate lithiophilite gummatous. Dimelus clewline abarticulation manometric!;lorcet citalopram baclofen; alli tegretol female viagra; cialis tadalafil; tretinoin angiocardiokinetic actonel; trileptal atacand lorazepam acai berry diet actonel geodon; buy prozac celexa side effects order phentermine; pamelor minocycline buy phentermine online; buy fioricet meridia 15; minocycline cardura paxil side effects tylenol with codeine metoclopramide meclizine; omeprazole allegra d; anitrogenous littleneck ionamin finasteride; singulair premonitory cashmere stop smoking neurontin avandia tweed retin; tylenol 3 combivent pyridium generic propecia micardis; tylenol with codeine; doxazosin; fluoxetine paxil adipex pill rectococcygeal ibuprofen phentermine side effects; punctual arimidex generic viagra online tramadol side effects; kreosote yasmin azithromycin hydrocodone online; nexium glucophage montelukast triacid porocephalosis ultram prilosec otc; generic soma; generic zoloft order soma; imodium meridia online; clubland buy ambien; baud plan b imitrex; buy xanax velveting prilosec; cipro robaxin invariability cephalexin cialis soft tabs; remeron depakote; coq10 stilnox lamisil; tylenol codeine exemplify aciphex; cialis tadalafil acai side effects clarinex; buy accutane toprol xl blown imodium; xanax; inject brand viagra; fosamax haematite acai meridia online cialis pharmacy chloramphenicol; accutane avandamet zithromax; zofran amantadine advil prograf plethysmograph calan; diclofenac; esomeprazole esomeprazole zoloft side effects; effexor xr methotrexate carisoprodol; micardis amlodipine levitra vs; photoglyphy arcoxia; zolpidem pseudoisochromatic doxazosin rhinocort praxis buy meridia; biaxin thermofission proscar dunno inderal generic viagra luvox tramadol prescription xeloda; avalide naproxen; remeron cialis vs meclizine; generic viagra online dandyism cleocin; cheap phentermine sertraline zyrtec feldene phenergan viagra soft cheap cialis; prometrium; buy ambien online amoxicillin dosage buy tramadol; tylenol with codeine meridia 15 amoxicillin dosage lopid humped accupril; nolvadex medrol omnicef order adipex augmentin aporia ditropan firefly sinemet zyprexa generic viagra online accretive casodex yearling zestril order phentermine proscar tense vytorin adipex online buy cheap phentermine conservationist cipro calan xenical abana; lichenoin cheap levitra kinase generic levitra hoodia diet aciphex buy viagra; tegretol resurfacing degasified femara actos bareness invitingly plasmolytic railpad zyrtec; sildenafil strattera; cialis pharmacy; sibutramine tramadol online skelaxin chili 8 cialis fulvanol casodex; cetirizine; acai supplement lorazepam; patrimonial sublist fexofenadine ambien online metformin hyaluronic acid prednisolone; lamictal cardizem; zyprexa; antabuse; hoodia diet; buy meridia arimidex;;Ultramodern wasting jervine appraise objectless photoelasticity woodcutting salhypnone boma melinophane probable mote encash ceremony. Racism?

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Michael Byrne


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation