Arcade Fire
Funeral


4.5
superb

Review

by Caesar Riley USER (25 Reviews)
June 9th, 2011 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You don't need to appreciate Arcade Fire to enjoy this masterpiece.

Funeral is an intense sounding epic of an album: it's mournful and haunting, but still manages to be uplifting and superbly glorious. Nowadays, Arcade Fire is a major-label indie group, who gained massive attention with their third attempt, The Suburbs, and Neon Bible. But before all that, there was Arcade Fire: a debut that rivals hundreds after and before it: it's dramatic, brilliantly crafted, and it has a sense of awe and nostalgia throughout, you'd think it was from an experienced group's major label album.

But I've been trying to put my finger on what makes Arcade Fire's albums so likable.

Is it the dark sense of beauty throughout this soundscape of a debut? The instruments have an unparalleled sense of freedom to it: the infectious, yet beautiful guitar work, the exceptional pianos, and the moving, inspiring vocal beauty of Win Butler. It may be the fact that everyone can enjoy this album: the band ignites into every track, they're inspirational and a message flows through every song. Songs like "Wake Up" and the guitar-led "Rebellion (Lies)" are euphoric and emotionally precise, or the acoustic V7-sound / crashing drum beats / female vocals in "Haiti". That "just one more song" feeling turns into hours and evenings spent on listening to the scope of this album: it's far from rigidly consistent, and Arcade Fire is a perfect example of a group that has come into our lives and not know the impact they left. (Until now, of course, but...)

I've been asked whether Funeral is better than the two albums after it. It's hard to say. It's all about simplicity, yet a message that kills: this isn't a bad that gets out there and is trying to attack the genre scene: they're making a straightforward, yet utterly hopeful and rich. (Which brings me back to them not knowing the impact they truly left) Each one of their albums has done a great job of seeking a moral and showing it in the best way they can: Arcade Fire is one of the best examples of a calm after the storm, and there is no standout track, no centrepiece of the thrill of this piece of art.

Funeral is pure modern day poetry, despite not being picture perfect. Let's be honest, no album is ever perfect, is it? And compared to many albums before it, Funeral is a peaceful, yet euphoric debut that continues to please years after its impact. They're not trying to make anything happen here, not purposefully trying to smack the ball out of the park. It is a really beautiful album, one that feels more relaxing, one that creates a mental image some albums can not achieve through their overall mood, so Funeral comes closer than most. In fact, writing this review has got me itching to listen to "Wake Up" one last time. There's not a whole lot quite like it - excluding the obvious flaws - and it's a treat to listen to.

Highly recommended

Further Listening
Arcade Fire - The AF EP

(This album has made more Top 10 lists than any album before it, and, according to an underground chart, has had the longest position at #1)



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user ratings (3176)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
RavenRock
June 9th 2011


688 Comments


This is a review I wrote a long time ago.

I've been struggling for reviews of albums that haven't become major hits yet, so enjoy this as I brainstorm more ideas.

liveatthegods
June 9th 2011


62 Comments


What underground chart were you talking about at the end of the review?

That was a good review. If you want an album to review, try Motion Picture Soundtrack's The Shapes We Fear Are Of Our Own.

RavenRock
June 9th 2011


688 Comments


I was the one that created the MPS page, so I guess I should follow up on that.

Maybe some more Axel Rudi Pell... anyways, thanks.

NigelH
June 9th 2011


1571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"It's all about simplicity, yet a message that kills: this isn't a bad that gets out there and is trying to attack the genre scene: they're making a straightforward, yet utterly hopeful and rich. (Which brings me back to them not knowing the impact they truly left)"

Dude, I gotta ask, what the hell are you trying to say here? I try to follow it, but it's just ???

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
June 9th 2011


24090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

" But before all that, there was Arcade Fire: a debut that rivals hundreds after and before it: it's dramatic..."

maybe im a dumbass here but can you even do that? two colons in one sentence?

regardless, this review is a mess

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

EverythingEvil2113
June 9th 2011


1282 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

haven't read the review but the album is exemplary. album is worth the hype it gets.

MarvellousG
June 9th 2011


368 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Dude, I gotta say, this review has a lot of syntax failure.

RadioheadSucks
June 9th 2011


27 Comments


Well I agree with the summary, album is a work of art.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2011


31611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This review is a bit of a maze to navigate

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

Drsmith4
June 9th 2011


1719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"In fact, writing this review has got me itching to listen to "Wake Up" one last time."

Something tells me you meant something completely different here. There: is so much; wrong with, this review. But I don't neg.

AggravatedYeti
June 9th 2011


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

" But before all that, there was Arcade Fire: a debut that rivals hundreds after and before it: it's dramatic..."


Correct setup: But before all that, there was Arcade Fire: a debut that rivals hundreds after and before it. it's dramatic..."
or
But before all that, there was Arcade Fire--a debut that rivals hundreds after and before it--it's dramatic..."
or
But before all that, there was Arcade Fire: a debut that rivals hundreds after and before it; it's dramatic..."

preferably the first but yeah 9.5 times out of 10 no double-up on the colons in a single sentence. You actually use colons incorrectly pretty much every time you implement them in this review.

Nowadays, Arcade Fire is a major-label indie group,

they are on Merge (and always have been), which is not a major label (though is owned by one, so in essence you're kind of correct, but still...)

this whole review is actually a gigantic mess : (

demigod!
June 9th 2011


45252 Comments


they arent on a major label what

Digging: Black Sabbath - Master of Reality

YetAnotherBrick
June 9th 2011


4518 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That intro paragraph is pretty janky.


Digging: Soul Coughing - Ruby Vroom

guitarplaya91
June 9th 2011


485 Comments


Sputnik should ban the use of the word "Epic"



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