The members of Arcade Fire write bold songs and record bold albums. They have something to say, and they want to say it audaciously. Check out “Wake Up,” from 2004’s Funeral. It begins with a simple, one-note, rhythmic guitar pattern that leads to every band member singing an all-encompassing vocal part in unison. It’s big, spacious and patient, with lead man Win Butler pleading for today’s kids to open their eyes. His vocals turn from beautiful melody to back-of-the-throat screaming that blends seamlessly into the rest of the members’ vocal line. But if you wait for it, “Wake Up” transforms into a dance number driven by a bouncy but still gloomy piano as Butler screams, “You better look out below!” It’s a truly sincere anthem for this seemingly unending age of irony.
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