Arcade Fire
Funeral


5.0
classic

Review

by Eno USER (34 Reviews)
May 28th, 2010 | 20 replies | 6,351 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I miss everything I'll never be.

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Funeral features what is one of the most brilliant contradictions in modern music. Many family members of Arcade Fire had died around the same time, hence the album title. One could certainly conclude that this unfortunate surge of deaths had driven and ultimately inspired the unrestrained passion and ever-present emotive musical motifs, which soar and build like an orchestra, but are presented raw and as blatantly emotional as the minimal indie band they were at the time. This is backed up by the reoccurring themes of broken childhood memories and the place such events and past experiences had lead to. This is found in Power Out, where Win Butler vaguely outlines abstract recollections of the bleak, yet ever traumatic feelings of growing up in an involuntary independent environment and finding and resolving the proper feelings and emotions that a child could possibly perceive. The latter part to the formula enters as he shouts "Just light a candle for the kids, Jesus Christ don't keep it hid! Cause nothing's hid from us kids….you ain't fooling nobody, with the lights out!" over pounding wall-of-sound instrumental work.

And in the strictest, technical sense one could find that the music follows this formulaic theme of reflecting on damaged past events from an irrational present perspective. In Neighborhood 1, piano tinkering and a shaky, yet steady rhythm backs Win's nervous hums of a codependent childhood relationship and that same piano ends up melodically, yet aggressively switching between matching the rhythm and matching the dramatized musical crescendos that back cries of "Purify the colors, purify my mind!". Instrumental work like the previously mentioned song might lead listeners to look at Funeral as a reaction to the various tragedies of the band. That's not to say that Funeral is dependent on any sort of formula or sound. Arcade Fire follow many musical outlets for their emotional incentive, from the rough percussion and shouts of Laika, to the minimalist, nearly ambient sound of the french-sung track Haiti.

However like most musical masterpieces, the ultimate atmosphere generated by Funeral leads to a near opposite musical characterization than originally intended. One may find that each track tends to open with a light-hearted, Phil Spector-esque brand of pop production. While the sound portrays a feeling of secureness and the instruments are aligned and confident, the melodies convey a sound of unavoidable distancing. And the music follows so in a perfectly linear fashion, while managing to sound anything beyond generic. As every inevitable musical outburst occurs, the beginning feeling of losing touch, no matter how subtle it's original presence was, follows suit in the final conclusion in the building of anxiety. The songs ultimately go from innocent worries about falling out to an intense sound produced that signifies, basically, "Where the f*ck do we go from here?" These moments are defined by Win's shouts and unrefined collective singing and chanting. And the way these gorgeous musical occurrences juxtapose the focus of certain themes and grand productions ultimately make Funeral an album that relies more on direct feeling than most other revered indie albums could ever hope to produce.

If the children don't grow up,
our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.
We're just a million little gods causin' rain storms turnin' every good thing to
rust!




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user ratings (3094)
Chart.
4.3
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Enotron
May 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Explanations:

I have no idea why I just reviewed Arcade Fire. I was feeling a little down and just started playing it and found myself extremely moved.

To elaborate, I was mainly saying that the vibe from this album is different from what is often seen as an emotional outburst in reaction to their various tragedies. Rather, I found it to bring up sounds that provoked feelings of losing touch with a part of your past, whether it be your personality, friends, etc.

Obfuscation24
May 28th 2010



3939 Comments


Great review man!
Just started listening to these guys, and they're great

Enotron
May 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks a bunch Hayley Williams!

Foxhound
May 28th 2010



4570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I need to listen to this more, really sweet album, will bump to 4 again after I listen.

Enotron
May 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Ugh, random negs. Honestly, I know I'm a bit "biased" because I wrote the review, but I worked quite hard and I don't really see what constitutes the neg at all.

Romulus
May 28th 2010



8411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't sweat it, the review is really good. Pos'd.

Enotron
May 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Haha, it just seems with every other review there's somebody who negs me and doesn't give an explanation or even explain who he is. Regardless, I appreciate the pos : )

Foxhound
May 28th 2010



4570 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^^ know how you feel so pos.

Enotron
May 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Done.

This album is still around a 4 or 4.5 for me personally, but I felt that the review constituted as a 5.

Enotron
May 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Bahaha. Maybe I'll do that on an alt or something(there's actually a shitload of different reviews I've wanted to do under an alt account).

robin
Emeritus
May 28th 2010



4241 Comments


so close to fiving this all the time. nice read, byrnetron.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2010



30873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Then we'll all know its you.....

Great review

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

Enotron
May 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks pianodev : )

Ponton
Emeritus
May 28th 2010



5784 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review eno, this album really clicked with me earlier this year

AggravatedYeti
May 28th 2010



7684 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

album is so....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Enotron
May 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I think one of the most mind-blowing things about it is how immense it is in overall sound, yet still retains the image of being a small indie band and the vocals add a sense of rawness to the mix.

zeppelinUSA
May 28th 2010



299 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i finally decided to 5 this after reading the review, which is ace btw

Enotron
May 28th 2010



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks!

Hobbes42
February 4th 2011



27 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Excellent review. And this album is in my top 10 of all time, easily. Neighborhood #1 especially holds a lot of personal meaning for me. Definitely their best album.

Enotron
June 9th 2011



7695 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

lol this review makes no sense i'm 80% sure i was stoned while i wrote it

"emotional incentive" like what the fuck



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