It's been a decade since Arcade Fire released Funeral to the world. Just think on that for a minute, don't let your mind wander onto anything else Funeral or Arcade Fire related, just that though. Funeral is ten years old. Scary thought, isn't it that it's been a companion in our lives for that long and it always seems new.

Obviously, I've listened to Funeral an unhealthy amount of times during the past couple of weeks and I've found myself falling in love with it again, but for completely different reasons than when it first came out. I count myself lucky that when Funeral was released I was a teenager and it seems as though teenagers were the album's target audience, although I'm sure some will disagree. In 2004 this didn't sound like a band that were reminiscing on long past events, there was a vitality to Win Butler's lyrics and an awkward energy to the band's playing that came across as youthful exuberance, and because of this it felt as though we were sharing these experiences with the band, as if we were on the same emotional path as them at the exact same times. There's a huge amount of relatability on display. Sure, they were all at least in their twenties but the way they crafted the songs indicated they were at least in touch with their teenage selves.

Funeral is so life-affirming and so positive throughout that back in 2004 its message was clear: in amongst all the hardships of life there is always hope and positivity, and that's something that certainly resonated within me all those years ago. It's funny though, because as I, or the listener in general grows so does Funeral. It changes a little and those songs do primarily become nostalgia trips and a chance to reminisce, but that wouldn't be possible without it being current and relatable back when it was first released. That hope still rings true though and Funeral ten years on almost seems like a letter written to a person's older self, a reminder of the positivity and dreams we all had as kids and a prompt to keep moving forward with the same vitality and energy, embracing everything. That's what Funeral is at its very core and it underlines how much of a classic it is that it can still resonate with people.

From Funeral's very get-go there's a sense of innocence and charming naivety, those first few notes emanating from 'Neighbourhood #1' are so delightful they're heart-warming. It's such a simple melody but its emotional reach defies that simplicity, six notes attached together shouldn't hit as hard as this but they do time and time again. When Win Butler makes his entrance that feeling is amplified immeasurably, his melody even more minimal than the instrumental before him, his breathy, soft vocals making way for vocals racked with emotion that grow in stature as the song progresses, vocals that become even more evocative and heart-breaking as the band shifts into higher gear after higher gear. There probably aren't any more musical gears for where Arcade Fire were trying to get to but that doesn't stop them pushing on. It's fairly magnificent and the special part is that everything contained in that one song that makes it magnificent is so, so simple but it's packed with emotion and that pushes it higher.

I think that's the thing with Funeral, it deals with relatively simple issues and couples them with relatively simple musical ideas but in doing so the band is able to raise the levels of emotion in each song. I mentioned relatability earlier and I think that's the key, Arcade Fire are discussing simple things and happenings that we all go through but they're connected to such strong emotions the songs become memorable. The tale of unrequited love 'Crown of Love' doesn't need histrionics, all it needs is enough evocative notes in the right order and it becomes something else. 'Wake Up' needs to have that fist-pumping aspect to it, it needs to sound big to get its message across, but if you listen to it closely everything is, again, simple but it's still devastating and powerful.

I'm still surprised by Funeral's positivity despite some of the subject matter and that's solely down to the music. In the blissful songs the melodies elevate that feeling yet in some of the others they seem to preserve some sort of balance. 'In The Backseat' seems to teeter towards the sombre, beautiful and innocent and never settles on any of those. It's odd because the song shouldn't go anywhere near beautiful but there's an ambiguity to those violins that as a listener I'm never sure where they're going. Are they full of remorse and sadness, or portraying that innocence that sometimes blanks out terrible things? While the plucked section at the end might indicate the band are saying 'life shines through' or something of the same ilk, Regine Chassagne certainly isn't singing anything of the sort. Haiti should be sombre if the lyrics are anything to go by but the music stops it from descending into anything overly gloomy and in some ways the poignancy of the lyrics hit a little harder because of that juxtaposition, but there's still that idea of simple innocence blocking out the bad.

Allowing some ambiguity into proceedings is what makes Funeral so special. There's hints into a different, darker direction but they're just that, hints. Those hints allow the optimism to shine through a bit brighter than they would if everything on Funeral was nice and positive. Even so, there's so much on Funeral that couldn't be dampened out regardless of whether Arcade Fire wanted to, such is the strength of some of the messages on the album and that's what makes Funeral a gloriously special album. After all that, go turn 'Rebellion (Lies)' up as loud as you can and remind yourself why you fell in love with Arcade Fire in the first place; you won't be disappointed.

Funeral was originally released on September 14, 2004 in North America by Merge Records (February 28th, 2005 in Europe by Rough Trade Records).