83. Arcade Fire - ‘Funeral’ + The Last Word

Arcade Fire - ‘Funeral’ + The Last Word

Ingredients: 3/4 ounce gin, 3/4 ounce green Chartreuse, 3/4 ounce maraschino liqueur (like Luxardo), 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice, lime twist for garnish. 

Mixing Instructions: Vigorously shake all ingredients together with ice.  Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with lime twist.

Notes: In every music lover’s lifetime their are certain albums that act as signposts, transitional moments by which all music after will be held to account.  In 2004 Arcade Fire released one of those albums and called it Funeral.  

In the year leading up to the release of the band’s debut album, three members of the band lost members of their family, hence the title.  While death is always around us, the passing of someone close serves as an emotional ice-bath - shocking, numbing and focusing all at the same time.  This is relevant only because it is hard to imagine another catalyst that could adequately account for the emotional depths reached over the course this 10-song masterpiece.  

One gets the sense while listening to the narrative arc of the album that the band is shedding the remnants of their youth right in front of you…not willingly, but because life has demanded it of them.  Yet, the result isn’t cynicism or apathy, but the life-affirming spirit that comes from dealing with tragedy and choosing to move forward.  ”Wake Up” acts as an anchor for the album and the transition point between innocence and adulthood with the famous lament, “Our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.”

There’s so much to say, but honestly one must experience music like this for themselves to truly grasp its significance.  Make yourself a delicately balanced cocktail and attend to the Funeral.

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