Thursday, April 15, 2010

Case File #32: "Wake Up"

Arcade Fire
"Wake Up"

The need to know: Arcade Fire are a big band, boasting seven core members and a live army that swells into double digits. The large outfit, however, is anchored by the husband/wife duo of Win Butler and Regine Chassagne and together they create baroque pop of epic proportions. Their debut, 2004's Funeral landed the band some of the highest critical acclaim of the last decade and left fans frothing at the mouth for more. The Bruce Springsteen-indebted Neon Bible followed in 2007, and their third album is rumored to be released later this year (eek!). 

Why it's worthy: I'm not gonna lie. "Wake Up" is nearly my favorite song of all time and, quite frankly, I've surprised myself by making it 30+ entries in without tackling it. Pulsing guitar riffs anchor  soaring orchestral moments and a punchy breakdown make this song over-the-top in the best way possible. A chorus of "ohs" and a swelling string section only emphasize Butler's cries of nostalgia. It's gorgeous. It's epic. It's a song no Holden Caulfield of the world can resist.

Quotable lyric: "With my lightning bolts a'glowin/ I can see where I am going"

Where you've heard it: Both the original and a specially recorded acoustic version of "Wake Up" were used in various trailers and TV spots for Spike Jonze's film adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are. Additionally, the band allowed the song to be used in bumpers for the NFL during this past Super Bowl, with all proceeds going to help earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

EDIT: The band also performed "Wake Up" with David freaking Bowie at the 2006 VH1 Fashion Rocks benefit. (Thanks Jeremy!)

Get obsessed:

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