Verdict – 9.8
The indie rock band’s debut album was made following the deaths of multiple group members (hence the title), and you feel that the themes within the album are directly influenced by those traumatic times. Coping with loss, a sense of entirety, an acceptance of worthlessness, all are explored in Funeral. There will be a time in every one’s life where these themes are all the more poignant, and these songs all the more meaningful.
In album opener and best track, Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels), a song about following young love and the innocence and naïveté involved to the reminiscent days of adulthood (you change all the lead, sleeping in my head). Suitably beautiful and ecstatic at the same time, it sets the theme of the album expertly. In Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out), we hear about him dealing with the loss of a loved one, and the senseless, hopeless feelings one finds thrust upon them. This unknowing observation of life, pondering of the future carries forth as he begins to wonder what his new found purpose may be, knowing love towards others right now is just not an option (the crown of love, is not upon me). Wake Up, tells us to awaken all the past feelings we have kept bottled in, to accept our mistakes, to seek for change before it becomes too late. The closer, In the Backseat, is the best example of the theme in Funeral, one of dread towards the future, the loss of innocence, the expectations people just are not ready for. Using driving as a metaphor for life, she sings, “I like the peace, in the backseat… (before saying) Crashing towards the driver’s seat”.
Never trying to impose itself, always just opting ideas, voicing opinions, Funeral is a record that not only finds itself relatable, but also life-affirming. For all the pessimistic views and lyrics throughout the album, you can’t help but feel there is an underlying euphoria and wisdom behind the music. An album that that is as gentle as it is forceful, Arcade Fire do seem aware of their tiny irrelevant place in the world, but their songs speak volumes. Parts; dynamic, emotional, complex, engaging, results in a modern classic.
Top Songs – Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels), Wake Up, Rebellion (Lies)