Tyler Huckabee at Relevant Magazine started sharing his thoughts on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums. I saw this, and because I love a project I decided to jump in at #500 and work my way forward.
I know that music is completely subjective, and there are going to be some albums that I love, and some that I hate. But I’m going to do my best to try to listen to these albums from the perspective of a pastor in the Christian, Pentecostal Tradition. I know that popular music can communicate big truth as well lies that run contrary to the teachings of my faith. I also know that if I want to understand culture, music is one of the many artifacts that can help build greater understanding to the zeitgeist, or the spirit of the age at the time the album was released.
So with all that preamble, let’s talk about #500.
ARCADE FIRE – FUNERAL
I don’t remember exactly when I discovered Arcade Fire. I think my first exposure to this band was with their Album Neon Bible. But when I heard the song “Wake Up” as bumper music for the Podcast TBTL, I had to figure out what this band was all about. I loved the driving guitar and the and the choral “aaaahs” of the intro. When I finally figured out that it was Arcade Fire, I went to the public library to borrow the CD. At the time I was working as a youth pastor, we had just welcomed our daughter into the world, and I was working on pursuing my Masters Degree. My life was being pulled in many different directions, and something about this album resonated deeply in my soul.
I would listen to this album driving home late at night, and there were times when I would just cry. It seemed like this band understood how difficult it was to grow into adulthood, and hold on to faith in something bigger than yourself, when it seemed like the world was falling apart. This album has a maturity that surprised me. I was surprised that this was their debut album. I have been a fan since then. Even though the band has been willing to experiment with instrumentation and styles over the years, they have stayed true to exploring the big themes of life. The seeds for what the band has grown into were all planted in their debut.
I’d love to hear what you think bout this album. Please leave a comment.