Arcade Fire’s ‘Abraham’s Daughter’, Reviewed
For a few hours, you could listen to Arcade Fire’s song ‘Abraham’s Daughter’ for the T Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack of the movie ‘Hunger Games’, which will be out on March 20th. Unfortunately, the YouTube video posted on Entertainment Weekly was removed for copyright reasons, and still exists on some websites, but may be not for long!
The song will sure work better in the context of the film, as I was left wanting for more regarding the development of the song. With Régine Chassagne’s juvenile voice over dramatic pulsating drumming, the track seems to announce the apocalypse, and works like this electronic version of Berlioz’ Dies Irae at the beginning of Kubrick’s The Shining; it is a dark funeral march for the dystopian story that the movie seems to be about.
But frontman Win Butler himself spoke himself to Entertainment Weekly about the song, which will be played during the movie’s closing credits:
‘I tried to put myself in the headspace of how excited I’d be if this film was coming out when I was 15. I still remember hearing Radiohead’s ‘Exit Music (for a Film)’ in [Baz Luhrmann’s] Romeo + Juliet when I was that age.’
So I guess Arcade Fire is Radiohead-level huge now,… may be.
‘Our whole approach was to get into the world and try to create something that serves the story and the film… There’s something in the story of Abraham and Isaac that I think resonates with the themes in the film, like sacrificing children. So we made a weird, apocryphal, alternate-universe version of that, where it’s as if Abraham had a daughter — kind of a metaphor for Katniss.’
‘We were interested in making music that would be more integral in the movie, just as a mental exercise. And there's an anthem that runs throughout the books, the national anthem of the fascist Capitol. So as a thought experiment, we tried to write what that might sound like. It's like the Capitol's idea of itself, basically.’
‘It's not a pop song or anything. More of an anthem that could be playing at a big sporting event like the Games. So we did a structure for that, and then James Newton Howard made a movie-score version of it that happens in several places in the film."
All this stuff sounds like the bible, but I did not hear at all this song as the triumphant anthem of a fascist regime, this song sounds like death, or the last judgment!
Anyway, the soundtrack will also feature another Arcade Fire song, ‘Horn of Plenty’, and songs by Taylor Swift, the Decemberists, Maroon 5, Miranda Lambert. How the hell Taylor Swift’s girlie stuff fits in all this?
But listen to ‘Abraham’s Daughter’ via Clash Music when it is still up: