Thursday, December 17, 2009

Music Decade List #12: The Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004)

The Arcade Fire were one of the few bands of the decade to survive the massive fawning of music blogs and come out as something other than overhyped. Funeral rises above that mostly because it's filled with some strong emotion and never feels as detached as a lot of "indie rock" does. Listening to 'Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) and 'Rebellion (Lies)', there's a feeling of some real passion in those songs, whether it be fear, rage, or yearning. The band has a power that borders on the arena-friendly sounds of U2, only with more instrumentation. The big songs have an almost epic quality to them, thundering drums, chorus vocals, and strings. 'Wake Up' may be the epitome of what I'm trying to describe, a song that grabs you with its near anthemic qualities. The entire album is not all sweeping however as with 'Neighborhood #4 (Kettles)' and 'Haiti', the band shows they can turn out more intimate numbers with the same amount of emotional power. Funeral was the really first record praised by the Pitchfork crowd that I really liked. There's nothing here as esoteric as what (I thought) most of that type of music was like. Funeral hit at a point where my musical interests were shifting and it's proven to be a record that isn't limited by genres or scenes.

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