Arcade Fire - Funeral

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:

"Wake Up," a track from, Funeral, the debut full-length by Montreal's Arcade Fire, builds from a midtempo strum into a "You Can't Hurry Love" gallop, which singer Win Butler interrupts with a yell: "You better look out below!" Somehow, none of this hits the ear as over-emotional. Throughout Funeral, the band augments its five-piece line-up with string sections, weaving a near-cinematic, folk-influenced chamber pop that slots in somewhere between Belle and Sebastian's delicacy and the robust classicism of '80s New Zealand bands such as the Chills and the Verlaines. The album drips with enough romanticism to rival Jeff Buckley's Grace, from the dreamscape of "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" ("Meet me in the middle of the town... forget all we used to know") to the epic realism of "In the Backseat." One of the indie rock community's most beloved finds of 2004, Arcade Fire are poised to win over even more listeners. --Rickey Wright

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