Arcade Fire’s third album, The Suburbs is not my favourite AF record, but it definitely is the one that made them superstars and win awards. Usually when people say they don’t like the Arcade Fire I pass on the The Suburbs and it has an instant effect on them. Plus it also has some of their strongest songs.
Eric Edelstein’s volume on this album follows the personal route, something that is quite rare in the 33 1/3 canon. Here he speaks about how the album changed his life, how it affected him as a teenager and then he relates the themes of the albums to other films about suburbia.
For a subjective book like this, it is weirdly academic. Edelstein quotes a lot of cultural theorists and his film knowledge is encyclopedic and it was fun seeing Arcade Fire songs compared to Lynch’s Blue Velvet or Todd Solondz’s Welcome to the Dollhouse. However Edelstein never strays from his feelings and this is what makes the book such an interesting read.