We live in a community which is about to decide whether to protect its rural character, tourism potential, and agricultural productivity, or to throw it all away by giving free rein to outside developers of substandard housing, ugly strip malls, and uncontrolled urban sprawl, so the emotions and insights triggered by the lyrics of Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" ring very true for us.
Add to this the fact that Sarah Neufeld, the band's brilliant violinist, grew up in farm country just north of our town on Vancouver Island, and the album's message becomes even more relevant and personal. I'm not sure how much input she has to the Butler brothers' writing process, but suspect that as a Merville girl she agrees with the thrust of their lyrics.
From the outset, Arcade Fire has been a band capable of sensuous and creative musical textures supported by multi-instrumental prowess and driving rhythms, and with "The Suburbs" they have generated even more aural appeal than "Neon Bible", which was a ground-breaking accomplishment sonically.
I highly recommend "The Suburbs" for anyone who appreciates a band that has achieved a convincing balance of musicality, creativity, and message. The reasonable ticket prices and superb performances at their concerts make Arcade Fire even more admirable. For a sample, check Google for a link to the webcast of their recent Madison Square Garden concert.