The Top 10 Arcade Fire songs (so far)
With Arcade Fire due in St. Louis tonight at the Scottrade Center, it seems fitting to honor quite possibly the most critically acclaimed band of this young century. After three albums, one EP and heaps and heaps of praise, I bring to you my Top 10 Arcade Fire songs (so far).
10. Haiti – Funeral
Such a sweet song and quite different from most of Funeral. This track doesn’t have the immediacy of many of the band’s songs but rather moves at a more languid pace. An effortless melody propels the song that commemorates the homeland of Regine Chassagne, a Canadien of Haitian ancestry.
9. Ready to Start – The Suburbs
After the calliope feel of the leadoff title track, “Ready to Start” is a rocker that showcases Arcade Fire’s ability to write a simple pop song. Yet, with one minute left, the tempo changes and the listener wonders if the band is going to take the song off of its proverbial tracks, only to bring it back and rein it in for the ending.
8. No Cars Go – Neon Bible
Following the critics darling debut Funeral, even a strong album like Neon Bible can be a disappointment. But, this song seems to revisit some of the chaotic sounds of their amazing debut while still sounding fresh and new.
7. Suburban War – The Suburbs
The Suburbs saved its two best tracks for the end of the album in “Suburban War” and my #2 track. This song begins wistfully, recreating the feeling of being back in the suburbs in high school. But, as Arcade Fire does so well, a tempo change midway through the song reminds you that you’re not reading and reminiscing over your high school yearbook but listening to an Arcade Fire song, one of its very best at that.
6. Rebellion (Lies) – Funeral
Ahhh, Funeral. An album so good that this song is my fourth favorite song on the album. A terrific song in its own right. No other band does chaos onto tape better than Arcade Fire.
5. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) – Funeral
The opener of the debut LP. A slow build of what was to come. All of the best elements of Arcade Fire classics are there: the build up, the tempo shifts, the fervor. They just did it better on two other songs on the same record.
4. Intervention – Neon Bible
Never has an opening organ been so prominent and perfect (and meaningful) since Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” This album was recorded in a church and this song sounds all the better due to it. Of course, Christianity may not like the slap in the face the song seems to be portraying (or mocking). You be the judge.
3. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) – Funeral
There’s no power out in this song. More of the wonderful chaos that the sounds of Funeral provide. Of course, lyrics like “And the power’s out in the heart of man, take it from your heart put in your hand..” can easily be lost in such an incredible song. One of Arcade Fire’s gifts is that the listener can interpret the lyrics in any way they want. Or you can ignore the lyrics and listen to the wonderful noise that is “Neighborhood #3.”
2. Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) – The Suburbs
From the third album, this is the closest Arcade Fire has come to the songs of Funeral. Possibly even better because some of the fervency of the best songs of Funeral seems to be reined in, allowing the song even more power. And there’s no doubt that The Suburbs isn’t just a random title for the album. “Sometimes I wonder if the world’s so small, that we can never get away from the sprawl, living in the sprawl, dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains, And there’s no end in sight, I need the darkness someone please cut the lights.” Wal-Mart be damned!
1. Wake Up – Funeral
The lyrics can be interpreted as children growing up and losing faith in God and/or religion. But this song is so glorious, so joyous that in some way, it shows how much beauty really is in the world. I can’t wait to hear this song at Scottrade Center tonight!
Did I miss any? What are your favorites?