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Arcade Fire came along when I wasn't paying much attention to “alternative” music. I knew what the lead singer looked like more than I was familiar with the band's music before listening to Funeral the past few weeks. They became my default image of what I saw (heard?) as a wave of overly precious, epic music with folk instrumentation. I came to this album both curious to see if my generalizations had any credibility or were way off.

My vague impressions weren't way off. While their songs may not be as anthemic as U2's, there is certainly a push for epic drama and songs to thrust your fist to. I came into this expecting to hear a bunch of modern folk rock. I was off there. This rocks more than what I expected.

The female vocalist sounds just like Bjork on “In the Backseat” and I get a bit of a thrill. But then, the instrumentation strikes me as very un-Bjork in its lack of quirk (rhythmic quirk, use of technological manipulation, choice of quirky instruments) and I get glum. It all balances out to feeling unimpressed.

While I liked the album more than I expected to, it did more to make me want to listen to Bjork, Modest Mouse, Polyphonic Spree, and other artists I heard in these songs than to listen to more Arcade Fire. I can see why a person would really like Funeral, but it just isn't my thing.

Songs I Knew I Liked: None

Songs I Now Like: “Rebellion (Lies)”

Songs I Don't Want to Ever Hear Again: None I would actively avoid.

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Cory Berry

June 2016

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