Arcade Fire Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness
When the book is closed on indie rock, Arcade Fire just might stand as its greatest band. We’re ranking all of the Canadian-American group’s albums in order of awesomeness.
And awesome is a good way to describe Arcade Fire’s four studio albums and debut EP (included in this ranking due to its length, quality and importance). These are records that are bold and sweeping, from the hard-charging sludge that opens “Wake Up” to the Haitian-inspired rhythms splashed all over Reflektor. But they are also deeply personal albums which reflect the band’s upbringing, its worldview, its hope and fears. Arcade Fire so often pulls off the nifty trick of sounding fragile and colossal simultaneously.
Perhaps that makes sense for an indie rock band that grew up to score gold and platinum records, never mind the ability to fill arenas and land a Grammy for Record of the Year (2010’s The Suburbs). All of that, plus a fanatical fanbase, is a testament to the infectious energy and beguiling artistry dwelling within Win Butler, Regine Chassagne and friends – and there’s a lot of them; the group can be 12 strong in concert.
In their relatively short time as recording artists (2003 to present), Arcade Fire has been embraced by the coolest of the old guard – they've collaborated with David Bowie, David Byrne and Bruce Springsteen – while influencing their contemporaries. The ramshackle anthems found on early Arcade Fire records are so obviously the inspiration for so much of mainstream rock, from Mumford and Sons and fun. to Coldplay and the Lumineers. Of course, Arcade Fire doesn’t sound like those guys do anymore, but that’s what happens when you’re the band on the frontlines.