Ok, so by now pretty much everybody and their little sister know about this band. The Arcade Fire have done nothing less than explode onto the global music scene, pretty much unheard of for a Canadian band. Getting ridiculous press all over the U.S. and the U.K., The Arcade Fire have breathed huge amounts of enthusiasm and excitement into the cultural hotbed of their hometown, Montreal and the Canadian music scene in general.
Having listened to "Funeral" dozens of times since getting it in December, there is not much to say about this band that has not been said already. Their full and complete sound is extremely moving and not one song will fail to please. Opener "Neighbourhood # 1 (Tunnels)" slowly builds over the pulsing of the 7-piece band featuring a great mélange of instruments. The songs speak for themselves and have a distinctive urgency about them, as articulated by vocal leader Win Butler. The emotion of the album can be traced to the unfortunate deaths of family members of several band members during the year leading up to this release, hence, "Funeral".
The rhythm section dictates this album, shifting from urgent thumping to soft and delicate extremely well, as on the single "Rebellion (Lies)". As is becoming a Canadian trait, this group exemplifies what it is to be a real band; lots of different instruments, various vocal arrangements, and a team dynamic. "Funeral" is classical music for the alternative mind. It is a beautiful record that has set new standards in music.