36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the front seat
French-Canadian alt-rockers 'The Arcade Fire' are an excellent band. There is no other way about it. This is a band that shows talent in abundance, and it is evident from the very beginning.
I was a bit skeptical when buying this because I had only heard 'Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)' and even though I thought it was fantastic, I was wondering if the rest of...
Published on 29 May 2006 by Dafydd Jones
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor mans vinyl edition
Great album, as always. However this vinyl edition omits the lyrics and credits pull-out that was included with the CD version.
On this edition its a gatefold sleeve and the tracks listed on the back, thats it. So hence 3 out of 5 for this edition! A bit of a poor show.
Published 11 months ago by N. Mcalister
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4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic - 5 stars,
A must have album for your record collection and the best debut of 2005. The hype around Arcade Fire took forever to cross the Atlantic - now perhaps it has. This album is a classic.
3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Retro baby,
By A Customer
Right, I bought this album as I loved the track Rebellion(Lies) as it got a lot of airtime because of the Reading festivals. I hadn't heard anything else by them, but was entrigued, so I looked em up on Roling Stone..seriosuly, they look like freaks. Anyhow, describing their sound on a linear basis will give you an 80s sound. Standard. Most of the songs on this album go by in a breeze. I found the first one catchy and still have that opening stuck in my head. But apart from that and Rebellion (which is one of the years best tracks), theres nothing here to set your world alight.
Good stuff though :)
5 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good, if not great, debut LP,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Based on the several tracks I'd heard, I really didn't see what the fuss was all about - don't believe the hype, indie kiddies! My contacts on the ground have let it be known that the preceding e.p. is much better, which may be the case - for now this is an OK album with a few standout moments. I suppose they seem great compared to My Secret Novel - who veer into similar territory and probably need an album or two to transend influences like Neutral Milk Hotel, Sparklehorse & Ivor Cutler (I think the My Latest Novel album is a more interesting purchase than 'Funeral', as it introduces Scottish folk, Belle & Sebastian elements & Americanana to the mix - an 'A' for effort and an 'A+' to make a great record at soon point in the future). Back to TAF...well they can play and a kind of anti-marketing has done well - people see them as authentic, which is sometimes a good thing. Then again, am not sure about them playing with David Bowie (...the Madonna of Glam Rock...)or U2 - especially when Bono is dressed up like Billy Mackenzie doing 'Partyfearstwo' on TOTP in 1982 singing 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'...
But I digress - this album is played wonderfully and it's certainly better than the bands they've been lumped in with in Canadia - The Decemberists and the Broken Social Scene (ironically the best band of the lot, The New Pornographers, still seem overlooked). While there's nothing offensive here, it certainly doesn't blow my mind and like My Latest Novel, there's a sense that someone like Jeff Magnum has kind of defined this territory. It probably wasn't helpful that Neutral Milk Hotel's classic 'In the Aeroplane Over the Sea' was reissued last year, replete with an approving quote from Ben Reed Perry on the sleeve.
The standout tracks are 'Neighborhood#2 (Laika)', which makes me think the lead vocalist is a bit David Thomas at times, the Triffids-sounding 'Rebellion (Lies)' and the gorgeous closer 'In the backseat' - which suggests I prefer it when Regine Chassagne sings. At several times I thought of bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, early-James, The Triffids, The Go-Betweens, Camper Van Beethoven, Violent Femmes, Pere Ubu, The Chills, Daniel Johnston, Tom Waits -which might be down to my own picky-mindset, but the Arcade Fire aren't yet the greatest thing in the world. On the strength of those few standout tracks it's possible they could be...I suppose the Arcade Fire blend things many haven't heard before, but let's not kid ourselves they're the new Neutral Milk Hotel just yet?
5 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who let the cat in?,
I won't add to the plaudits already heaped upon this band. I will say, however, that the woman who takes lead vocals towards the end of the album really needs to be told that she can't sing. Listening to her is like listening to the sound of fingernails being dragged across a blackboard. Her voice is absolutely excruciating, the most excruciating voice I have ever come across in my 40 years or so of listening to music. So, really 5 stars for the album less 2 stars for indulging this female.
7 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype,
If I had heard this album a few years ago I would no doubt be raving about this band myself, however there are now so many people doing this kind of thing and doing it much much better. The only plus point I can give is that the singers nasal whine reminded me that my mercury rev cd's were long overdue a listen, so I dusted them off. Forget about this, buy the Stars - set yourself on fire, it is infinitely better
14 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hype over substance - avoid,
I am pretty open minded about music with a broad range of tastes and having seen all these great reviews decided to give it a try. It's going back - repeated listens left me wondering what all the fuss was about - whiney vocals over dreary arrangements, neither original nor a good example of its type.
19 of 91 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hollow Hype,
I subscribe to a magazine in the UK called Uncut. This magazine has introduced me to some really great acts such as Wilco, Drive By Truckers and Richmond Fontaine and opened my eyes to classic artists such as Bob Dylan and Emmylou Harris. When Uncut voted Arcade Fire's Funeral and Sufjan Stevens' Illinois as albums of the year 2005, I decided it would be worth a try checking out these artists, especially since the magazine's year end CD contained what seemed to be interesting songs by each group. It also covered Arcade Fire in great length, interestingly enough only that one time that I can recollect. Despite still loving the magazine, next year I will be more careful.
I must admit, I've never made it through Arcade Fire. The production is terrible like a 30 year old cassette tape was being used. What sounded interesting on one track became quickly irritating. Singing lessons are in order in Montreal because this is closer to whining than actual singing. Sufjan at least received more patience on my behalf, I managed to listen to it and come to think of it, that album is not entirely bad compared to AF. This is amateur hour at best bloated with what must be hype of 2005. Having given Sufjan only one star, I have second thoughts since I can't give Funeral zero stars, Sufjan at least deserved something but this is painful noise. Avoid!
11 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Crud.,
By A Customer
I bought this album due to the amount of raving reviews. Well, I've sold it now, and I kept.. oh.. 3 tracks of it on my computer. It is wishy washy, nothing special, bland, droney tripe that has nothing special to say and nothing special do to. It goes nowhere. It is boring to listen to. I just cannot get over how un-special this album is.
I cannot emphasise enough how shocked I was upon heearing this, after reading the reviews. Apart from the 3 tracks i kept, which are okay, there is nothing that made me want to listen to it again. The last track is the kind of track you want to hang yourself to.
4 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bombast covering weak songs,
I don't like this album as it's boring, and it quickly becomes wearying to listen to. I can hear technical merit in it but it does nothing for me. Frankly, only the first song is worth a damn. The problem is that the songs are empty and bereft of any real content. They were a band with an epic sound in search of meaning and a purpose when they recorded this. The empty bombast has resulted in a boring, flat, lifeless album that's no fun at all to listen to. Personally I've always found that my attention quickly wanders as there's nothing here to concentrate on.
1. "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" 4:48 (7 out of 10 stars)
The lyrics are very good and very intriguing. A strong, very interesting song but lacking something to truly make it take off. Nice piano parts.
2. "Neighborhood #2 (Laïka)" 3:31 (7 stars)
Loud with shouted vocals. More tuneful than you might expect. I really like the female backing vocals.
3. "Une Année Sans Lumière" 3:40 (5 stars)
Quieter, more subdued song with some of the words in French. Pleasant enough and a nice contrast with the previous track. Has a tacked on heavy climax for no obvious reason. Nothing to get excited about.
4. "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" 5:12 (3 stars)
Indifferent song and messily mixed in my opinion. The song does nothing for me. Plenty of noise but I'm not sure it's been applied to much of a song.
5. "Neighborhood #4 (Kettles)" 4:49 (4 stars)
More singer-songwriter sounding song. Lyrics aren't anything to write home about and the music is serviceable at best (although that appears to be on purpose). Nothing wrong with it, just nothing right with it either.
6. "Crown of Love" 4:42 (6 stars)
More tuneful than usual. Has an interesting musical change at the end. Effective enough but a bit whatever overall.
7. "Wake Up" 5:35 (3 stars)
A load of noise that isn't gripping enough so my attention keeps slipping. Not a good sign.
8. "Haiti" 4:07 (5 stars)
Female lead vocals. Nice sounding but there doesn't seem to be much of a song under the pretty sounds.
9. "Rebellion (Lies)" 5:10 (7 stars)
Propulsive rock music. The vocals (not necessarily the lyrics) are disappointing. I don't think his non-shouty voice fits the music which could do with some angry shouting.
10. "In the Backseat" 6:20 (3 stars)
Female lead vocals over (mostly) restrained piano music. Banal. The sort of thing people assume they should like as it's tasteful, but if they actually thought about it they would realise that they don't care for it one bit. Goes on too long. Has a big loud instrumental coda.
I like to make EP playlists out of some albums on my iPod. Tracks 1, 2 and 9 made the cut.
I think they got better with each album. Neon Bible is pretty decent with a few great songs (EP 1, 7. 9 & 11). The Suburbs, although flawed, is their strongest album so far (EP 9, 10, 11, 13 and 15).
2 out of 10 stars overall.
10 of 67 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dont bother,
just sounds like a load of crash bang whallop rubbish with no obvious musical content. one of the worst albums i have ever bought. buy it if you like the idea of rubbing aspirin under your eyelids in an attempt to numb the pain.
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