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After what seems like decades of people talking about the epic grandeur of recent pop favorites Arcade Fire, I finally caught a rerun of their appearance of SNL or at least I think it was a rerun. I make it one of my goals to be far from connected with pop culture so I doubt I actually caught a new episode, especially at the hour of the night I was watching it.
After hearing the two songs the band performed I must say, I have gained some respect for this group.
Am I going Arcade Fire crazy and going to start writing every post on this site about everything this band does? No... In fact, I'm not even a fan of the band... but I have gained some respect.
The band certainly does sing with passion, and I can respect that. I also hear a lot of true folk and mountain music in their style which was a surprise, but I appreciate and respect these styles a lot. Overall I was pleasantly surprised as the first time I heard the group, maybe it was the song, maybe it was the recording, but I found them quite underwhelming and actually quite emotionally stale. I had a hard time understanding why there was so much hype, and why people were saying that these songs make them cry, or have religious experiences or whatever.
I mean, I'd at least like to understand what it is people are connecting with that makes them like it so much, even if I don't agree. I can kind of understand why people who like them say those things now, but I'm not one of the ones who will be saying them anytime soon.
The band has a very epic and grand feel and I can understand see why some people like that. It has that type of power that can speak to the soul if the person can relate. If the person relates and connects to the music, it will probably blow them away and rock them emotionally, while if the person can't relate or doesn't connect with it, then it comes off sounding a little pretentious or melodramatic.
So ,why am I not a fan?
Their music just doesn't ring true to me. I don't connect with it. Music that I connect with compels me to listen to it and I end up replaying the same album or sometimes even the same song over and over, and I just don't really care if I hear their songs again.
I like a rough edge on my music and at least from what I've heard, there is just too much polish and instrumentation for me. Plus, I can count the bands that have strings on their tracks where I actually think the strings are a good addition to the music, on one hand, so maybe it is that. The fact that there are some strings played live though is a huge bonus, because I don't like synthesized strings at all.
I do kind of find them a little melodramatic. I'm not sure if it is the arrangement or the instrumentation, but I feel their songs might be better suited to a bit of minimalist subtlety... I don't know, it is just as hard to pinpoint why certain music doesn't strike you then why certain music does.
In the end, I doubt you'll find me at an Arcade Fire concert, or buying their albums anytime soon, but, I can definitely respect the group and understand where their fans are coming from without being or becoming a fan myself.
Millions of people connect with millions of songs everyday. No one should believe it should be the same songs for everyone, and I guess I'm just one of the ones who doesn't connect with Arcade Fire.
It's ok... I'm not sad... I don't really feel like I'm missing out.
That is part of what is great about music, there is a flavor for everyone.
To each their own.