Thursday, September 3, 2009
THE 100 BEST ALBUMS of 2000-2009:
Funeral (The Arcade Fire) (2004-5):
To understand the elegant Funeral, one need to consider the many paths that came entwined in order to make it possible. The band lost nine family members during the recording process, then broke up only to rebuild. Funeral thus is in memory of that emotional upheaval: the beginning and end of things. Its heightened sense of fragmented loss serves its purpose well on the ten tracks that are orchestrated with a wide range of instruments, sadness and loss. This only reinforces Ren Butler’s lead vocal work and the wretchedness associated here. His sound is reminiscent of early Michael Stipe; smouldering insistence of the heart-breaking Neighbourhood #2 (Laika). The track best captures everything that is so magical on the album. It is defiant and powers on a type of refrain that even more established bands will never master. Haiti, the saddest track, features Regine Chassange alone as she rekindles love for her country of birth and she takes a moment to breathe on In the Backseat. Fittingly, this is the last track and The Arcade Fire achieved what most rock albums hadn’t up to that point: a time to exhale. This was to prove a trademark as well as irrefutably influential.