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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Review: The Arcade Fire - Funeral CD

Funeral is a very good record, fascinating to listen to and beautifully put together. It's a collection of mid and up-tempo funeral dirges you can often dance to, the biggest influences being The Talking Heads, New Order and John Cale of The Velvet Underground. The instrumentation is inspired, mixing orchestra and rock elements with touches of xylophone, accordion, steel drum and mandolin. They even toss in a waltz. Remorseful yet impatient, they end some slower songs with a roaring finale, on "Wake Up" kicking into an uplifting "Lust For Life" fadeout.

Members of Canada's The Arcade Fire lost loved ones in quick succession and Funeral is about loss. Or so I read. The lyrics, as I hear them, are too obtuse to indicate anything amiss. I have no idea what these songs are about really but they read nicely. This from someone who generally pisses on lyrics as poetry, and poetry as answers to existential questions.

There's a lovely sound throughout of instruments being plucked and tuned like when a massive orchestra warms up before a performance. The standard/expected drone of string instruments are, if anything, underplayed, a nice change and a classy choice.

I've never heard anything quite like this and if it's wholly original in its own way I wouldn't be surprised. I highly recommend this.


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