Funeral CD - Merge

To find the apt adjectives or turns of expression to best describe The Arcade Fire, we must unscrew the parts of our heads that are normally insistent upon making our life's deductions and labels. Inside somewhere, no matter what state of decay we're in or what kinds of sinful markings we've been unable to avoid through the years, there's an untouched core that’s a composite of pristine stardusts and innocence that's not routinely visited. It could just be that the inner circuitry that used to know the way there has been severed and every other road sign to the point has rotted off its post and fallen to the sides of those paths. We don't know how to get back to the parts of ourselves that were still experiencing simple pleasures and unquestionable miseries for the first time. But that's where this Canadian band, deservingly heralded as one of the most exemplary new things of the past year, does most of its thinking and where you'll find a way that's best to relate to the wondrous opus of Funeral. It's an album centered around the point in time when growing up is still being felt out, but there have come into the picture real reasons to believe that it's not going to be the most painless endeavor. Each of the quadruplets in the "Neighborhood" series – essentially four couplets to one 16-minute song and the album's focus - pedal into family strife, numerous deaths and a doleful concern for the aging process of all of those lead singer Win Butler wants to give a cry and a scream to. Many of the tracks on Funeral gain steam along with Butler, an indiscrete storyteller with a sense for the pulse and a voice that quivers like an animal with a paw stuck in a box-trap, collecting like a black and pregnant summer sky. They come with thunderclaps and lightning bolts that trip over one another, tearing into and branding the band with a sound that is inherently its own. (Sean Moeller)



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