Arcade Fire - 'Funeral'
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Candians. Singing. Like Bright Eyes. IN FRENCH. I could have stopped at that first word-sentence and there would still be a lot going against this album (Oh, you know I jest, my shoulder-chipped northern brother!). But like a paragraph-long sentence with five commas and forty adjectives from F. Scott Fitzgerald, Arcade Fire make pretension work. And how! The Montreal-based bandís layered instrumentation tinkles and builds and crescendos and sways in a way that translates into Assertive and not Whiny (though frontman Win Butlerís voice does take on some scarily Oberst tones sometimes).
The songs handily skirt Precious and skillfully land on the right side of Charming, checking everything from 60s pop to angular indie to Brit-pop along the way. Their greatest triumph, however, is in the way they headphone the music. That is, they manage to make grandeur intimate.