Obsession of the Week: Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” Grammy-Winning Album

Maybe you were like me on the night of the Grammys, in shock that the band Arcade Fire won the “Album of the Year”. Certainly, their Grammy night performance was nothing remotely inspiring and seemed overtly like it was trying too hard. Since that night and their huge upset, I’ve been listening to their “Album of the Year” again and again and again and I’ve become a huge fan.

What makes a truly great album is the connectivity of the songs to one another (think of “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac among other “Album of the Year” winners). This album has it. Like the Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” (Yes, I’m making the connection to this classic album), the songs are unique and offer a unique variety of sounds. With sounds heavily influenced by the great sounds of the 70s of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles (try “Rococo” and my favorite “Modern Man”) and the disco sounds of ABBA (“Sprawl” and “Sprawl II”), the album transcends a confined musical style or definition. The band’s influences include those from the 50s (Ray Orbison), the 60s (the Beatles), 80s (The Ramones) and 90s (REM). I think this album really has something for everyone. I challenge you to listen to it and not find an appreciate for the multiple of influences on this album.

With 16 tracks, I could name nearly every songs as some of the best. Try the title track, “Modern Man”, “Wasted Hours”, “Deep Blue”, “Suburban War”, “Empty Room” and “We Used to Wait” for starters (haha!). If, like me, you weren’t even familiar with Arcade Fire, I encourage you to give them a shot. The Suburbs is really an incredulous album and worthy of the Grammy for “Album of the Year” (sorry Eminem and Gaga fans).

“Obsession of the Week” (OTW) posts talk about some pop culture reference that has infiltrated my head for the week. I use the term obsession because we’re all obsessive and fanatical about things we like so much that we saturate ourselves in it until we make ourselves sick of it and then move on to something else.


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