Bigger Bodies, Torn-Up Hearts

Gavin Anchondo, Staff Writer

Arcade Fire’s album “Funeral” is a head-turner from the very beginning. This band is lead by Edwin (“Win”) Butler lll, his wife Régine Chassagne, and his little brother Will Butler. Win Butler is an American-Canadian singer who is musically inclined in many different areas. From playing numerous instruments to writing out songs, he is quite the talented artist. He would co-found the band in 2001 and go on to become quite successful with his unique albums. Arcade Fire manages to touch on many areas in the music genre field. Listeners receive a punk rock and also orchestral feeling with their music. Each song has a different way of reaching the audience with the style of music.

Their debut album “Funeral,” which was released in 2004, is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It gives the audience a sense of happiness with the music and then drags them back to reality with the lyrics. The album circles around the idea of death and tragedy but also around the positive sides of life and the relationships we have. While the group was working on this album, they went through many tragedies that would influence its creation. Members of the band would lose family members and be left wondering what was next and asking questions no one has answers to. This search is reflected numerous times throughout the album in songs like “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” and “Crown of Love”

When listening to “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”, the lyrics send emotions of a forgotten childhood. When they sing, “Then we tried to name our babies /  But we forgot all the names that / The names we used to know”, it gives the audience a feeling of lacking. A wave of memories is allowed in, and it takes them down a long road of remembrance. The song then transitions to a narrative of lost parents. The song as a whole is like a twisting road that continues to go down hill at a fast, uncontrollable speed. 

“Wake Up” isn’t too far away on the emotional side from “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)”. Once again we get a song that is full of heart-hitting points about life. When they sing, “ If the children don’t grow up / Our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up,” it really strikes deep. It really brings to light how we grow as people on the outside but on the inside we slowly deteriorate. 

From the first beat to the last chord, this album is full of amazing music with deep lyrics. It has a broad range when looking at the different styles of music. I believe anyone can find at least one song on this album that hits home. It brings back forgotten memories and long passed emotions. It makes the audience stop and think about the lyrics and truly ponder. That is truly the best quality in this album. It’s thought-provoking. It doesn’t tell you what to think. Instead it provides a memory, and your mind is taken down the path you once walked right alongside those who went with you. It is an audio scrapbook for today about yesterday.