Funeral

Funeral

4.5 27
by Arcade Fire
     
 

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Fronted by the husband-and-wife team of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, the Arcade Fire's emotional debut -- rendered even more poignant by the dedications to recently departed family members contained in its liner notes -- is brave, empowering, and dusted with something that many of the indie-rock genre's more contrived acts desperately lack: an element of real

Overview

Fronted by the husband-and-wife team of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, the Arcade Fire's emotional debut -- rendered even more poignant by the dedications to recently departed family members contained in its liner notes -- is brave, empowering, and dusted with something that many of the indie-rock genre's more contrived acts desperately lack: an element of real danger. Funeral' s mourners -- specifically Butler and Chassagne -- inhabit the same post-apocalyptic world as London Suede's Dog Man Star; they are broken, beaten, and ferociously romantic, reveling in the brutal beauty of their surroundings like a heathen Adam & Eve. "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)," the first of four metaphorical forays into the geography of the soul, follows a pair of young lovers who meet in the middle of the town through tunnels that connect to their bedrooms. Over a soaring piano lead that's effectively doubled by distorted guitar, they reach a Lord of the Flies-tinged utopia where they can't even remember their names or the faces of their weeping parents. Butler sings like Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood used to play, like a lion-tamer whose whip grows shorter with each and every lash. He can barely contain himself, and when he lets loose it's both melodic and primal, like Berlin-era Bowie or British Sea Power. "Neighborhood #2 (Laïka)" examines suicidal desperation through an angular Gang of Four prism; the hypnotic wash of strings and subtle meter changes of "Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)" winsomely capture the mundane doings of day-to-day existence; and "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)," Funeral's victorious soul-thumping core, is a goose bump-inducing rallying cry centered around the notion that "the power's out in the heart of man, take it from your heart and put it in your hand." The Arcade Fire are not bereft of whimsy. "Crown of Love" is like a wedding cake dropped in slow motion, utilizing a Johnny Mandel-style string section and a sweet, soda-pop stand chorus to provide solace to a jilted lover yearning for a way back into the fold, and "Haiti" relies on a sunny island melody to explore the complexities of Chassagne's mercurial homeland. However, it's the sheer power and scope of cuts like "Wake Up" -- featuring all 15 musicians singing in unison -- and the mesmerizing, early-Roxy Music pulse of "Rebellion (Lies)" that make Funeral the remarkable achievement that it is. These are songs that pump blood back into the heart as fast and furiously as it's draining from the sleeve on which it beats, and by the time Chassagne dissects her love of riding "In the Backseat" with the radio on, despite her desperate fear of driving, Funeral's singular thread is finally revealed; love does conquer all, especially love for the cathartic power of music.

Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Jenny Eliscu
Funeral aches with elegiac intensity.
Entertainment Weekly - Leah Greenblatt
A lovely, uplifting, and often pleasingly grandiose whirl through a panoply of sounds. (B+)

Product Details

Release Date:
09/14/2004
Label:
Merge Records
UPC:
0036172955527
catalogNumber:
29555
Rank:
4087

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Arcade Fire   Primary Artist
Michael Olsen   Cello,Group Member
Mike Olsen   Cello
Jessica Moss   Violin,Group Member
Genevieve Heistek   Viola,Group Member
Howard Bilerman   Guitar,Drums,Group Member
Sophie Trudeau   Violin,Group Member
Owen Pallett   Violin,Group Member
Pietro Amato   Horn,Group Member
Win Butler   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Bass Guitar,Vocals,gourd,Guitar (12 String Electric),Group Member
Régine Chassagne   Synthesizer,Percussion,Piano,Accordion,Drums,Recorder,Vocals,Xylophone,Group Member
Richard Reed Parry   Organ,Synthesizer,Percussion,Piano,Accordion,Xylophone,Double Bass,Upright Bass,Guitar (Rickenbacker),Group Member
Will Butler   Synthesizer,Bass,Percussion,Xylophone,Group Member
Anita Fust   Harp,Group Member
Timothy Kingsbury   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Telecaster,Group Member
Sarah Neufeld   Violin,Group Member
Arlen Thompson   Drums,Group Member

Technical Credits

Mark Lawson   Engineer
Howard Bilerman   Engineer
Thierry Amar   Engineer
Owen Pallett   String Arrangements
Arcade Fire   Composer,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements,Audio Production
Richard Reed Parry   Engineer
Tracy Maurice   Cover Art
Sarah Neufeld   String Arrangements
Hilary Treadwell   Insert
Josh Deu   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Funeral 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I waited a long time to buy this album because there's so many other incredible younger bands I've been getting into lately. I wish I had started here first. The Arcade Fire is by far the best. The emotional intensity and broad range of this album is what moves me. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnel) is one of the best opening songs on an album ever. It builds to a perfect climax, and it sets the tone for the rest of the journey. And this album is a journey - through loss, redemption, and everything in between. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) is so powerful and intense. It make a great centerpiece. The entire albums gets you from beginning to end. The only thing I can really say is GET THIS ALBUM NOW!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing indie rock band. There are 6 main members (5 now cause the one drummer left) plus 9 instrumentalists who jam with them. This is jangly Telecaster-and-percussion-let-loose music, with some gazing distortion mixed in as well. Win Butler's voice is unique, and much like that of an anguished teenager. His wife's audacious French singing is also appreciated. If you are into great indie (without annoying laptop beeps and crackling faux distortion), grab this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is beautiful, so powerful. The sadness, the joy, the confusion, all in one Merge-released, Montreal-ian package. Long live the Arcade Fire. Best album this year- get it or don't get it, but you'll be missing out on "it" (THE "it") if you don't pick it up. Please buy it, and save the world, or the trees, or the children, or whatever you're in to. Did I mention its pretty good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
...I'm really into Bloc Party and everyone who likes them reccomends Arcade. Why I don't know. Arcade is way too mellow and sounds like indie from the 90's. Bloc Party has a hot new english punk sound, totally different.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wake up is amazing this album is amazing you should defenetly buy it BUY IT NOW!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this CD after David Bowie raved about Arcade Fire in Rolling Stone Magazine. I'm sure glad I did! From the album's simple packaging to the CD's homebrew sound production, this album does not have a hint of corporate gloss on it. The songwriting is powerful and the music ranges from exhilarating to contemplative without ever, ever being routine or boring. It's like a combination of Interpol and Penguin Cafe Orchestra. If you're looking for music that moves your feet and your soul, look no further than Arcade Fire's Funeral.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Neighborhood #1 is amazing, abosolute emotional trainwreck of a song with a desperate hope around its edges. its the only song ive heard off this album but its damn well enough.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just about everything you read about this band is true. Yes they are the most exciting groups around. Yes their music is sometimes a shambolic mess. Yes they are canadian. Yes their are like, 10 people in the band. And yes they play like demons to create music that is energetic, haunting, beautiful, dangerous, I could go on and on and on.... You get the idea. The Arcade Fire will change the way you think about music. When I listen to them I feel like a little kid, bouncing off the walls.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It took me a while to get around to it, but I finally bought this album and I love it. I can't say much more. If I told you what I thought of some of the tracks, I might be ruining it for you. Kind of like a good book. If you haven't already bought Funeral, I suggest you run out and buy it now. It's that good, really.
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