Arcade Fire – Funeral

February 23, 2009
Arcade Fire - Funeral

Arcade Fire - Funeral

For me, the definitive moment of Arcade Fire’s debut album has always been the middle stretch of “Haiti” where Regine Chassagne sings over the album’s catchiest hook “in the the forest we lie hiding/unmarked graves where flowers grow/hear the soldier’s angry yelling/in the river we will go.” It seems to embody the spirit of the album, that is, an incident frozen in time, either explicitly explained or implicitly suggested, where someone is there, living, loving and learning. Indeed, this happens on more than one occasion. A lover decides to dig an impossible tunnel to his lover’s window, a power outage wakes up a sleeping teenager who runs out into the night, a man on a horse muses of burned out streetlights and his loved one’s eyes, and an estranged first son named Alexander causes police lights to shine (being an only child named Alexander, this one seemed completely life changing at the time). While the album is named Funeral, it primarily recognizes death as a necessary component to life, and this puts all of its ambitious goals on a song by song basis into perspective. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Funeral is easily one of the catchiest, lushest, and most romantic albums of the decade, and no one ever questioned whether or not it would be the greatest album of 2004 upon release. Like other necro-centric modern masterpieces, Don DeLillo’s novel White Noise and Hal Ashby’s film Harold and Maude, the Arcade Fire’s album Funeral is another step closer to society moving away from crying in agony at every funeral and instead rightfully in ecstasy.

Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

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