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Arcade Fire — Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
Album: The Suburbs
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 3382









Released: 2010
Length: 5:15
Plays (last 30 days): 2
They heard me singing and they told me to stop
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock

These days my life I feel it has no purpose
But late at night the feelings swim to the surface

'Cause on the surface the city lights shine
They're calling at me, come and find your kind

Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
That we can never get away from the sprawl

Living in the sprawl, dead shopping malls rise
Like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights

We rode our bikes to the nearest park
Sat under the swings and kissed in the dark

You shield my eyes from the police lights
We run away, but we don't know why

The black river, your city lights shine
They're screaming at us, "We don't need your kind"

Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
That we can never get away from the sprawl

Living in the sprawl, dead shopping malls rise
Like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights

They heard me singing and they told me to stop
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock
Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
Can we ever get away from the sprawl?

Living in the sprawl, dead shopping malls rise
Like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights
Comments (444)add comment
Cool!  Now do R. Kelly!
 jerund wrote:

Hmmm, discoescent, in a Blondie sort of way, but I like it, I'm not usually a fan but this one isn't too overdone.  Excellent vocals!



There is a YouTube of them singing together in 2014 (at 'Coachella'). Would post the link but still figuring out how..
 Hippostar wrote:


There are many places in this world, where -- at this very moment -- people's lives have been and continue to be destroyed by war and invasion.  Many places in the world are still subject to human trafficking and forced labor.  Many people live in abject poverty and die from starvation.

But in her world, the worst possible thing that could happen is that the world doesn't "understand" her and her "art", or worse, she might be called "pretentious"?  She also has the privilege to "punch the clock" with safe employment, which I would expect does not involve life endangerment or forced labor?

No, the worst thing she could ever imagine -- and the worst thing she will ever in her life experience -- would be to live in a boring suburb and maybe work in a cubicle.  The irony being she became a musician where she can tell everyone how bad it could have been for her.  Opportunity not afforded to everyone to be sure.


With respect, I agree with what you're saying, but I don't think the lyrics in this song  minimise other bigger problems and terrible situations. It doesn't at all sound like 'whingeing' to me.  I like how it's a snapshot description of a sensory overload situation, which is very relevant to our time and culture, and is one of the factors that led me to discover and support our (truly luxurious) ad-free RP.

I have sensitivity to bright light (along with hyperacusis), so I relate to this sweet and uplifting song. Thanks Arcade Fire! 
 bruceandjenna wrote:

Methinks you do not understand the theme here.  Just because we have a wealth of consumer goods doesn't mean we live meaningful lives.  In fact it means the opposite. 

And we have created aspirations in others for the same pursuit of crap.  Crap that fills our world with garbage and other pollution.  Crap that is destroying the natural world and us with it.


There are many places in this world, where -- at this very moment -- people's lives have been and continue to be destroyed by war and invasion.  Many places in the world are still subject to human trafficking and forced labor.  Many people live in abject poverty and die from starvation.

But in her world, the worst possible thing that could happen is that the world doesn't "understand" her and her "art", or worse, she might be called "pretentious"?  She also has the privilege to "punch the clock" with safe employment, which I would expect does not involve life endangerment or forced labor?

No, the worst thing she could ever imagine -- and the worst thing she will ever in her life experience -- would be to live in a boring suburb and maybe work in a cubicle.  The irony being she became a musician where she can tell everyone how bad it could have been for her.  Opportunity not afforded to everyone to be sure.
 cely wrote:

This is clearly a protest song, but it's a protest against something our society has not put its finger on, not quite yet.  Many, many good hardworking people benefit from suburban sprawl and a society that revolves around cars and parking lots, but ultimately they get alienated from others and feel paranoid about those dangerous people living in cities, or really anywhere they are not.  It's getting a bit like Europe's middle ages where certain groups of people shore up in their enclaves, get disconnected from one another, and suspect other people as "not one of us."  It helps explain Trump and Trumpiness.  Time, so much so, for America to move past this. 



This is such a great way of contextualizing the world we live in right now. I do feel like the internet is also contributing to the enclave/tribalistic retreat we're seeing.
 cely wrote:

This is clearly a protest song, but it's a protest against something our society has not put its finger on, not quite yet.  Many, many good hardworking people benefit from suburban sprawl and a society that revolves around cars and parking lots, but ultimately they get alienated from others and feel paranoid about those dangerous people living in cities, or really anywhere they are not.  It's getting a bit like Europe's middle ages where certain groups of people shore up in their enclaves, get disconnected from one another, and suspect other people as "not one of us."  It helps explain Trump and Trumpiness.  Time, so much so, for America to move past this. 



Wish I could upvote your comment a 100 times
Arcade Fire at its pinnacle.  Looks like they are no more, or are at least getting a new lead singer.  Are Regine and Gerard still a couple?
Will Butler just announced he is leaving the band.
Moving on to new neighbourhoods
For a moment I thought Arcade Fire could never get away from the Skrull.
Adore her vocals on this track 👌
Hmmm, discoescent, in a Blondie sort of way, but I like it, I'm not usually a fan but this one isn't too overdone.  Excellent vocals!
7 to 8 may go up even higher
Thanks RP.
 Jayesea wrote:
One of my favorite AF songs.  I just love Régine's energy.



Here is a video of her and her husband doing this song during the pandemic at what I presume is their home.  Worth a watch if you enjoy this song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwm6DQSO8jw




Joyous.
This is clearly a protest song, but it's a protest against something our society has not put its finger on, not quite yet.  Many, many good hardworking people benefit from suburban sprawl and a society that revolves around cars and parking lots, but ultimately they get alienated from others and feel paranoid about those dangerous people living in cities, or really anywhere they are not.  It's getting a bit like Europe's middle ages where certain groups of people shore up in their enclaves, get disconnected from one another, and suspect other people as "not one of us."  It helps explain Trump and Trumpiness.  Time, so much so, for America to move past this. 
I gotta dance all night.
A Rush tribute viewed through the lens of Blondie?
Doesn't matter what came before, this song kicks me up to a different level! Of course since I saw them live they can do no wrong.
Just found myself prancing round the studio.... covid jig you could call it!
I recommend the video for this. Just the couple selfie videoing with a phone in their rear garden, dancing around and generally being silly. Funny and entertaining!
Hey idiot_wind, these guys sound just like Arcade Fire!  ; )
 bruceandjenna wrote:

I also love in the PNW.  But about 100 miles west in the small town of Sequim.  A few buildings at two stories, and tall mountains rising to the south.  Three small shopping centers.  Ocean to the north.

Yet, or because of, we are growing too.  Spoke the Eagles, "When you call it paradise, kiss it goodbye."

LLRP!

You have a great town! Twenty years or so ago our family was traveling through there. My youngest daughter got a bad cut on her finger and we pulled into the rescue squad (or firehouse?) in Sequim. They calmed her down, took care of her, and gave her a stuffed animal.  Of course she named it 'Squim' (yes she dropped the 'e' somewhere) and it became her favorite. Still has it I bet.

One of my favorite AF songs.  I just love Régine's energy.



Here is a video of her and her husband doing this song during the pandemic at what I presume is their home.  Worth a watch if you enjoy this song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwm6DQSO8jw


Just here to see if the h8ters are still around.........yep.   I personally LOVE Arcade Fire because I'm mature enough to just like something because I like it.
 MirageRF wrote:
vaguely europop techno disco.
and folks listen to this ABBA clone?   Geez.......
 

Some people don't have a clue so they just write something like this. Next time just turn of the radio.
Hey Bill! I think this fits somewhere


Alpha Blondy - wish you were here
J'adore j'adore...cette chanson est envoutante et me donne envie de partir en vacance dès les premières notes :) :)
 Andy_B wrote:
Having lived aboard different boats for a good bit of the last 36 years and now looking for a home ashore the amount of sprawl my hometown of greater Daytona Beach and it's 5 surrounding cities has suffered is appalling.  

How appropiate this song!  I gave is a 9 when it first appeared here on RP and I confess, I must now bump it to a 10.  What has become of America and it's plethora of 'burbs?
 
Captain Nemo returns to find a world of strip malls?
I feel like this band has guts. I'm guessing it's easier to make catchy pop tunes without social relevance.
 lizardking wrote:

Living in the PNW, I can firmly say our mountains are taller than yours....though our dying shopping malls may be the same.....(I actually live near one of the 'suburb shopping malls (Alderwood) that is getting extra business from the closed down 'city' mall (Northgate) - Long Live RP and all the Urban, Suburban and Rural areas on the world!!
 
I also love in the PNW.  But about 100 miles west in the small town of Sequim.  A few buildings at two stories, and tall mountains rising to the south.  Three small shopping centers.  Ocean to the north.

Yet, or because of, we are growing too.  Spoke the Eagles, "When you call it paradise, kiss it goodbye."

LLRP!
 bruceandjenna wrote:

Methinks you do not understand the theme here.  Just because we have a wealth of consumer goods doesn't mean we live meaningful lives.  In fact it means the opposite. 

And we have created aspirations in others for the same pursuit of crap.  Crap that fills our world with garbage and other pollution.  Crap that is destroying the natural world and us with it.
 
This!
 Hippostar wrote:
So, this song/album is about the angst and oppression of growing up in a middle-class suburb? 

First World problems.


 
Methinks you do not understand the theme here.  Just because we have a wealth of consumer goods doesn't mean we live meaningful lives.  In fact it means the opposite. 

And we have created aspirations in others for the same pursuit of crap.  Crap that fills our world with garbage and other pollution.  Crap that is destroying the natural world and us with it.
Please play us Rush's Subdivisions before or after this for a suburban lament two-fuh!
 cely wrote:
I don't know about where you live, but here in South Florida "dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains" describes my world.
 
Living in the PNW, I can firmly say our mountains are taller than yours....though our dying shopping malls may be the same.....(I actually live near one of the 'suburb shopping malls (Alderwood) that is getting extra business from the closed down 'city' mall (Northgate) - Long Live RP and all the Urban, Suburban and Rural areas on the world!!
Go Montréal! I grew up in its suburbs.
I love this girls voice & the actual song is a musical and lyrical masterpiece - love it !
I don't know about where you live, but here in South Florida "dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains" describes my world.
Since I saw a surf video on this music, with pro like T. Knox, I love this track. Epic like an 8/9 !
Blondie at her best!
 justin4kick wrote:

Thank you brianlay for being so tolerant to people that have a musical taste for garbage made by non-talented artists.
 
LOL....despite the fact that admitting to liking this means "I like garbage" I had to go 7 to 8 based on the theme of the song....and well executed at that....and also despite the ABBA sounds like....Long Live RP!!
Reminiscent of MGMT, nice. 
 maboleth wrote:
Blondie clone. Arcade Fire are yet_another_hipsters.
 No they are not. They are just another band of the time with unique sound. Just because hipsters like it doesn't mean they're a hipster band. Try listening to them.

Epic track, it builds like a storm and highlights how mundane some aspects of our modern society is
Feelin nice, thanks RP
 brianlay wrote:
No talent garbage however I can appreciate others might like it!
 
Good thing your worthless opinion means SFA. Clearly you have no idea of what you speak. Now off you go and put on that Kanye masterpiece that so moves your musical sensibilities. Twat.
 brianlay wrote:
No talent garbage however I can appreciate others might like it!
 
Thank you brianlay for being so tolerant to people that have a musical taste for garbage made by non-talented artists.
I seriously thought this was a song from the 70's disco era!
 brianlay wrote: 
No talent garbage however I can appreciate others might like it!
 
That's a bit like a 12 yr. old calling Mozart or Strauss no-talent garbage. If you don't like it, fine, just say it's not your thing. But no talent garbage is just a tad over the top. 
 cavemanleong wrote:
This has got to be one of favourite Arcade Fire songs! Régine's voice is sublime!
 
This is my only favorite Arcade Fire song.
No talent garbage however I can appreciate others might like it!
 Doing the silent jig in the office.
Channeling Heart of Glass
 ozzie1313 wrote:
This band is energetic and fun, and they really stretch my music sensibilities.  Sort of a Blondie tribute song.

 
If anything, the sound is reminiscent of ABBA.
first time ever hearing Arcade Fire on RP.  
This has got to be one of favourite Arcade Fire songs! Régine's voice is sublime!
Go Regina!
THE BEST LYRICS. Thank you thank you thank you, Arcade Fire, for singing what so many of us are thinking.
 TerryS wrote:

Nairobi has this problem too, as does Sao Paulo, Cairo and New York.

 
Or as our President calls them - shitholes.


Me too Regine, me too...
Tune!
Having lived aboard different boats for a good bit of the last 36 years and now looking for a home ashore the amount of sprawl my hometown of greater Daytona Beach and it's 5 surrounding cities has suffered is appalling.  

How appropiate this song!  I gave is a 9 when it first appeared here on RP and I confess, I must now bump it to a 10.  What has become of America and it's plethora of 'burbs?
Sacré Régine!
yummy
 On_The_Beach wrote:
I'm finding this a bit shrill and grating.

 
Nails on a chalkboard!
This band is energetic and fun, and they really stretch my music sensibilities.  Sort of a Blondie tribute song.
I'm finding this a bit shrill and grating.
Gotta see these guys live, so my son says. And he's usually right.
Tip of the touque to Quebec. 
 
(..) We run away, but we don't know why (...)
 {#Music}
i am fully addicted to this song. sprawl!!!!!
...Awesome live performance of this song. They put on a great show. 7.92
 Proclivities wrote:

That's obvious, isn't it?  Middle-class suburbs only exist in the "First World".  Would you prefer they wrote a song/album about pretending to be Bangladeshi peasants?

 
Nairobi has this problem too, as does Sao Paulo, Cairo and New York.
 Hippostar wrote:

So, this song/album is about the angst and oppression of growing up in a middle-class suburb? 

First World problems.

 
That's obvious, isn't it?  Wouldn't middle-class suburbs only exist in the so-called "First World".  Would you prefer they wrote a song/album pretending to be nomadic goat-herders in Somalia?
Lovely! {#Cheers}
My favourite Arcade Fire track. That's not saying much but I like to give credit where it's due.
Hey guys, After all it's a nice beat....Like it 
They are amazing, intelligent and innovative. Definitely leaders....look how many bands are trying to adopt what they are doing.

So, this song/album is about the angst and oppression of growing up in a middle-class suburb? 

First World problems.


 idiot_wind wrote:    I disagree, they're not "one of the most over-rated bands out there" they are indeed THE single most over-rated band and there and fore exactly the reasons you list. There's not one person in Arcade Fire who can play their instrument better than a relatively talented high school musician - except for the drummer who is significantly worse than that.
So many members in the band. So little output...no hooks. Overproduced. Boring. Muted. Nothing here. Was this recorded in 1983?
 
One of the most over-rated bands out there. When does their 15 minutes expire?   

 


This track sounds a bit like something I've heard on the new Steven Wilson Bonus CD, H C E (various artists).  It has some real gems on it; by the way..
 nicknt wrote:
Pop in its worst form. Madonna did it better.

 
Now that is in the running for the most incomprehensible and gnomic post of the month {#Stupid}

The more I hear this song, the more I hear "we can never get away from the sprog".
So many members in the band. So little output...no hooks. Overproduced. Boring. Muted. Nothing here. Was this recorded in 1983?
 
One of the most over-rated bands out there. When does their 15 minutes expire?   
Arcade Fire = PSD
I'm not a fan of the band, but this song is just awesome! 
Just not feeling it here.
Pop in its worst form. Madonna did it better.
Damn...an Arcade Fire song I didn't PSD.  There goes that streak.
Uuuhhh yes they have, you should go back and read through the analysis of the lyrics in older comments. That's what originally drew me so closely to this song after hearing it on RP for the first time a few years back.   

suesblues wrote:
Nobody's really mentioned the brilliant lyrics for this song: (together with the voice makes it a classic song about being an ARTIST) :

They heard me singing and they told me to stop
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock

These days my life I feel it has no purpose
But late at night the feelings swim to the surface

'Cause on the surface the city lights shine
They're calling at me, come and find your kind

Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
That we can never get away from the sprawl

Living in the sprawl, dead shopping malls rise
Like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights

We rode our bikes to the nearest park
Sat under the swings and kissed in the dark

You shield my eyes from the police lights
We run away, but we don't know why

The black river, your city lights shine
They're screaming at us, "We don't need your kind"

Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
That we can never get away from the sprawl

Living in the sprawl, dead shopping malls rise
Like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights

They heard me singing and they told me to stop
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock
Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
Can we ever get away from the sprawl?

Living in the sprawl, dead shopping malls rise
Like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights


 

 


Haven't heard such a squeak since the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz...
Nobody's really mentioned the brilliant lyrics for this song: (together with the voice makes it a classic song about being an ARTIST) :

They heard me singing and they told me to stop
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock

These days my life I feel it has no purpose
But late at night the feelings swim to the surface

'Cause on the surface the city lights shine
They're calling at me, come and find your kind

Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
That we can never get away from the sprawl

Living in the sprawl, dead shopping malls rise
Like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights

We rode our bikes to the nearest park
Sat under the swings and kissed in the dark

You shield my eyes from the police lights
We run away, but we don't know why

The black river, your city lights shine
They're screaming at us, "We don't need your kind"

Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
That we can never get away from the sprawl

Living in the sprawl, dead shopping malls rise
Like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights

They heard me singing and they told me to stop
Quit these pretentious things and just punch the clock
Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
Can we ever get away from the sprawl?

Living in the sprawl, dead shopping malls rise
Like mountains beyond mountains
And there's no end in sight
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights
I need the darkness, someone please cut the lights


 
The tops - uplifting somehow.  A great album too, which I would not have discovered without RP.  Cheers!{#Drummer}
vaguely europop techno disco.
and folks listen to this ABBA clone?   Geez.......
A stunning piece of art.
okay chill all.. not as bad as all that.. not as great as some
 Highspirits wrote:

You guys could at least get her name right...it's Debbie Harry, not Harold !    And this really doesn't sound like her at all, IMHO.

 
Oh, lighten up, Just a sly attempt at humour, evidently wasted.
If you see this band live and still criticise them then I am afraid you are dead from the neck up! Fantastic band, fantastic album!
Cripes! {#Sick}
 TerryS wrote:


Yep, says Deborah Harold to me too.

 
You guys could at least get her name right...it's Debbie Harry, not Harold !    And this really doesn't sound like her at all, IMHO.
We can never get away from the sprawl...of Arcade Fire. 
Zzzzzzzzzzz.  
Dang it! OK just one more.
Very Blondie!
This song blows... and not in a good way.
Ideal song for in the morning.
 
 Me three. TerryS wrote:


Yep, says Deborah Harold to me too.

 


Great tune
Heart of glass -  yes, but this even more?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCH1IlOfDTM
 skyguy wrote:
I always think this is Blondie when it first comes on.

 

Yep, says Deborah Harold to me too.
I ♥ synths
 stunix wrote:
I hate that I love this.  Even my cleaner said its 5h1t!
 
Ha ha, I was just thinking the same thing!
I hate that I love this.  Even my cleaner said its 5h1t!
I must counter-program the haters by saying that this is a fabulous song through and through
FM Radio noise
Welcome to yet another episode of Sesame Street singalong Mousekateers!

White noise.

Blech. 
...*argh*......and "PSD" doesn´t work....sry,RP i have to leave now......
I first heard this song in a dead shopping mall.
I sense a theme, first Rush now Arcade Fire, Life in the Canadian suburbs....
 skyguy wrote:
I always think this is Blondie when it first comes on.
 
Ditto.
A song about intelligent land-use planning?  I love it!
Blondie meets The knife. Nice.