I got tagged on Facebook to do this project – share ten albums that greatly influenced my taste in music. One album per day for ten consecutive days. In theory for the Facebook version this is supposed to be without explanation… but I want to explain! So I’m going to blog the explanations here.
Once again, another band that I jumped in to mid-stream and then backfilled. I don’t remember how Arcade Fire jumped onto my radar, but once I started listening to The Suburbs it was a long time before I stopped. It became my running soundtrack the year I trained for (and ran) a half marathon, and those repeated listens let it soak deeply into my brain.
Win Butler, lead singer and key songwriter for Arcade Fire, grew up Mormon in Texas before moving to Montreal, Canada as an adult. Maybe I’m reading too much into his upbringing, but when I listen to his songs I hear a kindred spirit wrestling with a fundamentalist upbringing, a disenchantment with the brokenness of the world, and a desire for something more.
The Suburbs was a record that seemed to grow out of nowhere to then get substantial recognition. It won the Grammy for Best Album of the Year for 2010, but even as the host announced the award, they seemed unsure of whether the band name was “Arcade Fire” or “The Suburbs”. But wow, it landed for me.
I still kick myself a bit that I passed up an opportunity to stand in line and see Arcade Fire play in a little bitty discotheque in Montreal when I was up there for work several years ago. I did see them finally in an arena show on the Reflektor tour, and they were fantastic live.
Once I got hooked on Arcade Fire, I went back and got familiar with the rest of their discography and gained a deep appreciation for those, too. While my favorite AF song and favorite AF lyric may neither show up on The Suburbs, it remains my favorite front-to-back album of theirs, and deserves a spot on my 10 albums list.