Song of the Day #1,705: ‘Deep Blue’ – Arcade Fire

suburbsApparently Arcade Fire stacked the best songs in the back half of The Suburbs… I’m liking each of these more than the last.

‘Deep Blue’ has a great lyric and an evocative musical backdrop that marries the sound of the 60s and the 80s — appropriate given the subject matter.

Win Butler uses IBM’s Deep Blue computer, which in the mid 90s became the first artificial intelligence to beat a human chess master, as a metaphor for the destructive intrusion of technology on our daily lives.

After recalling the Y2K scare, he suggests that our cellphones and laptops are keeping us from appreciating “something wild” in the night. These lyrics bring me back to ‘Half Light I’ and ‘II,’ in which the teenagers roamed their suburban streets at night against the backdrop of shuttered houses.

Is it that youthful spirit that breathes outside our homes as we immerse ourselves in technology? Is that what we’re losing?

And is it ironic that I’m pecking out these thoughts on a computer keyboard while listening to an MP3 through headphones?

Here in my place and time
And here in my own skin I can finally begin
Let the century pass me by, standing under a night sky
Tomorrow means nothing

I was only a child then
Feeling barely alive when I heard a song from a speaker of a passing car
And prayed to a dying star, the memories fading
I can almost remember singing
la la la la la la la
la la la la la la la

We watched the end of the century
Compressed on a tiny screen
A dead star collapsing and we could see
Something was ending
Are you through pretending?
We saw the signs in the suburbs

You could have never predicted that it could see through you
Kasparov, Deep Blue, 1996
Your mind’s playing tricks now
Show’s over so take a bow
We’re living in the shadow of
la la la la la la la
la la la la la la la

Put the cellphone down for a while
In the night there’s something wild
Can you hear it breathing?
Put the laptop down for a while
In the night there is something wild
I can feel it’s leaving me


One thought on “Song of the Day #1,705: ‘Deep Blue’ – Arcade Fire

  1. Dana says:

    Certainly some provocative lyrics, and I agree that this song is better than others that preceded it, though for me that isn’t saying much.

    On the way home yesterday, I was listening to Costello followed by talking heads followed by Belle and Sebastian, and what struck me, when comparing to arcade fire, was what a difference a soulful, colorful vocalist can make. For me, that is what is lacking with arcade fire. I find his voice wholly uninteresting and the delivery passionless.

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