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coverpic flag Canada - Full Moon 101 - 12/26/04

The Arcade Fire
Funeral
Merge

There's an eerie similarity between what this album does to me and what Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights did to me a couple of years ago: it has me believing in indie-rock and the power of emotion in music.

You can take your irony any day and stuff it up your dance-punk ass - this is unashamedly emotional music and all the better for it. It's the sheer weight of emotional expression that gives this record its incredible power. Straight from the off, where Win Butler sings of digging a tunnel through the snow to reach his lover in "Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)", there's an undeniably passionate momentum behind this music. And in this opening track I reckon The Arcade Fire have just about swept away the accolade for my favourite song of the year. It's real 'sing-along-as-loud-as-you-can-whilst-punching-the-air' stuff.

The other nine songs don't quite match the genius of this opening salvo, but the rest of the album is certainly excellent. It has a pleasingly coherent 'album' feel to it, from the lovely packaging (I love quality packaging, especially as it's one of the only middle fingers you can put up to music downloaders) to the themes that run through the lyrics.

The feel of the music is undeniably indie-rock with a gorgeous, heavy low-end, angsty vocal delivery and a mood bleeding between melancholic dejection and triumphant rejuvenation. Like all the best music it articulates something intangible through the simultaneous expression of something that's ineffably beautiful yet irredeemably doomed - human love.

Copyright © 2004 Tim Clarke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Arcade Fire articles/reviews: Neon Bible, Reflektor.

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