For the week of 5/21/2012…

“Crown of Love” by Arcade Fire

I guess I might as well continue with the “notable bands of the 2000s” theme from the last couple of weeks, huh?  Funeral, the first Arcade Fire album, was released in 2004, and I bought it that year — one of the few wise musical purchases I made during my middle school years.  (If only I could get back the money I spent on those Green Day albums….)  I bought Funeral because it was critically lauded, but I didn’t really appreciate it until a few years later.

In my opinion, each of the three Arcade Fire albums ranks among the greatest albums of the past decade, and Funeral and The Suburbs (their third record) are bona fide masterpieces.  During this rainy week, I’ve had Funeral in my car, and I’m rediscovering it all over again.  It’s still amazing to me just how good each and every track is — beautiful songs, lush arrangements, and an indie, album-oriented sensibility not without an ear for catchy melodies.  Of the album’s ten songs, “Crown of Love,” in particular, is sticking in my head at the moment.  I think that one of the coolest parts of the whole album is how this mournful, midtempo ballad suddenly sparks into a much faster lament, driven by frantic strings and a disco beat underneath Win Butler’s wailing towards the end.  I don’t really understand why it works, but it does.

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