A Musical Commentary on Suburban Sprawl

The new album by Arcade Fire is themed around suburban sprawl, offering an interesting commentary on city planning and development.

The indie rock outfit has based its latest release on life growing up in suburbs. The result is an intriguing commentary, according to this piece from SPUR Urbanist.

"Their newest album weaves a sense of suburban space and place throughout its 16 tracks. Band front man Win Butler sings of how 'First they built the road, then they built the town. / That's why we're still driving round and round.' Much of the inspiration for the album comes from Butler's youth spent in the suburbs of Houston in the 1980s. And as with Arcade Fire's other notable excursions into the memories of childhood on its first album Funeral, the tone is often wistful. Butler and wife Régine Chassagne sing longingly for the 'wasted hours' of adolescence spent staring out the window of a car, riding bikes in the night to the nearest park, and waiting in parking lots under freeway overpasses. There are also more melancholic references to the impact of growing up in the built environment of suburbia – 'All we see are kids in buses longing to be free.'"

Full Story: Arcade Fire's new album tackles suburban sprawl, providing compelling city planning commentary


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