Why is Arcade Fire’s Funeral on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
As the day grows dim, I hear you sing a golden hymn.
Some stats & info about Arcade Fire – Funeral
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Canadian Bands, Rock Music, Indie Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #500
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was Funeral released? 2004
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #633 out of 1,000
Arcade Fire’s Funeral on Spotify
So why is Arcade Fire’s Funeral on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
Sort of full disclosure I: For a good chunk of my life, I would likely describe myself as a “rock guy” when it comes to music, and specifically classic rock. Over time, that eventually brought me to college rock, alternative rock, punk rock… which then quickly compelled me to dive into an explosion of sounds which has kept me exploring music of all colors and symbols and stripes to this day.
I mention this because when I listen to “new” music for the very first time, my instinct is to look for a hook that, well, hooks me quickly. Sometimes too quickly; I can be impatient. So I’ll have a bias at times toward “missing out” on music that I would greatly love and appreciate if I only took a little bit of time and patience.
Sort of full disclosure II: Due in part to the above is why it took me many years to give Arcade Fire a chance. I had heard of Arcade Fire but mistakenly thought for some years they were more of a dance-y club-y act due to the name.
Only within the last several years did I sit down and give Funeral a chance, and I’m so glad I did. I’ll fully admit that I’m not even caught up in terms of what the album is trying to accomplish lyrically (you can read more about that here). From a music standpoint, it took me a few listens to kind of get on its wavelength, but once I did I’ve enjoyed the album more every time I’ve thrown it on.
Four of Funeral’s 10 tracks are called “Neighborhood,” and are numbered and have another specific label attached to it: Tunnels, Laika, Power Out, Kettles. (I get it: right there, that’s a lot.)
Kicking off with “Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels),” the first track, I always feel that I’m off on some kind of sonic journey. It makes me feel something. It’s soothing and kind of sad and beautiful and yet is exciting and propulsive all at once.
By the time we get to “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out),” which follows both “Neighborhood #2 (Laika)” and a non-Neighborhood track called “Une Annee Sans Lumiere,” the sound and energy does move almost into dance music territory… maybe? There’s some Pink Floyd concept album vibes meets 2000s danceable indie rock going on here that I haven’t quite figured it out. But I do know it’s really good.
The second half of Funeral changes things up quite a bit. I’m partial to “Rebellion (Lies),” which has a really nice driving energy, string accompaniment, and something of a big ambitious U2 song kind of feel.
Personal stuff that has something to do with Arcade Fire’s Funeral
Now that the best 1,000 albums ever list is starting to close in on the halfway mark, or the “top 500,” it’s interesting to begin to see some of my rankings track relatively closely with Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums rankings (as I’ve noted elsewhere, Rolling Stone’s list was part of the inspiration for me to embark on the best 1,000 albums ever project, but because I’m a semi-crazy person, I had to “double” the list from 500 to 1,000 albums!).
And as you can see above, Rolling Stone had Arcade Fire’s Funeral exactly at #500, making it easily the “closest” to my own ranking (#633 of 1,000) by far… at least thus far!
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.