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The Arcade Fire - Funeral - Merge Records

Hailing from Montreal, Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, Richard Perry, Tim Kingsbury and Win’s brother Will make up The Arcade Fire. With a strong underground indie-rock following, Funeral is possibly the most critically acclaimed album of 2004 that fell under the radar. It’s a debut record too good and original to be ignored.

There are moments during this album that recall early Roxy Music, Hunky Dory-era Bowie, The Cure with touches of the Pixies and Rufus Wainwright thrown in. Despite its gloomy title, this album is stunning in its songwriting and musicality. Recorded during a time when several members of the band’s family passed away, the songs explore the emotional impact of death and the resolution of the various emotions it evokes as part of the catharsis. But even if you didn’t know the band’s personal stories, the songs are a reflection of the life cycle with elements of Whitman-esque poetry. Lyrically, the album is an inspiration even in light of its sad subject matter.

Funeral is the sound of an emotionally intense, very creative, highly original indie-rock band. Amazon.com describes the album accurately: Arcade Fire brings a theatricality, an intensity, an insanity, and a penchant for amazing hooks to their debut full-length. You've never heard such energy, beauty, and emotion from such a young band.

Written by Bruce Warren

Release Date: 9/14/2004

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