Classic CD Review: Funeral

Band: Arcade Fire
Release: 2004
Label: Merge

1. “Neighborhood  #1 (Tunnels)” – A+
2. “Neighborhood #2 (Laika) – A+
3. “Une Annee Sans Lumiere” – A-
4. “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” – A-
5. “Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)” – A
6. “Crown of Love” – A+
7. “Wake Up” – A+
8. “Haiti” – A++
9. “Rebellion (Lies)” – A++
10. “In the Backseat” – A

Comments: As the good man Matt alluded to a few posts back , this is truly a beautiful record. It does have tear-jerking attributes as well as uplifting pump-your-fists kind of moments. There isn’t much to critique, though I’d opine that some tracks definitely have more of an epic factor than others. Take “Crown of Love,” for instance. I don’t know whether to feel happy or sad. It’s like one of those feelings you get when you feel like you are going to pull through, yet you still feel a shitload of remorse. I guess that’s the best quality of this album: you can connect with it in a plethora of ways. I’m not good at interpreting songs from a lyrical point of view (at least the first time around), so I can’t comment too much on what’s actually going on during these ditties. It’s something amazing, though. Don’t know about your thoughts, but the transition from “Crown” to “Wake Up” is fucking incredible. You know the little old school jitter-and-jive on “Wake Up” gets me every time. It’s so random, yet so fitting. I’m going to wager “Haiti” to be my favorite song on here. It’s just about perfect. Not quite there, but just about. Ask your average AF fan, and they’ll probably say “Rebellion” is their flava-fave and it’s damn great, don’t get me wrong. In fact, it’s probably the most epic song of all time. Or something like that.

Final Grade: A (96)

Matt’s Top Albums from 2000-09

These are some of the my favorite and in my opinion some of the best albums of the first decade in the 21st Century.

5. 19-Adele. This was one of my personal favorites from an amazingly talented girl. The album has everything heart felt ballads galore (Daydreamer, Hometown Glory, First Love among others) giant swelling songs (Chasing Pavements, Right As Rain, Tired) and even a dance track (Cold Shoulder). Written about Adele’s experience leaving her home in London and experience with love, 19 proved to be one of my favorite records of the decade.

Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

4. Funeral-Arcade Fire. The debut from one of the leading bands in indie rock. Funeral, which was named after several of the bandmate’ss relatives passed away, like 19 just has it all. It has your soft personal acoustic (Crown Of Love, Neighbor Hood 4 [7 Kettles], In The Backseat) your thunderous rock songs (Wake Up, Rebellion[Lies], Neighborhood #3[Power Out]) and yet again even kind of a dance track (Neighborhood #1 [Tunnels]). I credit this as the only record to ever make me close to really crying my eyes out. Phenomenal record. Should be in everyone’s collection.

3. The White Stripes-Elephant. Wow. All I can say about this record. What really made this stand out to me was its lack of true production. Jack had this recorded all on tapes and he spliced the tapes together. Some of my favorite songs are Seven Nation Army, Ball And Biscuit, There’s No Home For You Here, Little Acorns and You’ve Got Her In Your Pocket. An amazing outing from arguably my favorite band.

2. Radiohead-In Rainbows. What is a top ten list without Radiohead. And this record in particular is the one that really made me take notice of Radiohead. An album that makes an artist wait to put out the next record so the one before won’t overshadow it is something special. With some of the best production, arrangements and lyrics my old ears have ever heard, In Rainbows is a record not to be fucked with.

1. Radiohead-Kid A. I am speechless when it comes to this record. It’s such a… special record. Defining Radiohead’s sound most likely for the next few records and defining us as people, its just scary good. I frown on anyone who thinks they can do better. I don’t want to say anymore because my words can’t praise it enough