The kind of music your friend listens to because a girl he likes told him she liked it.
Funeral is the debut studio album by Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire, released on September 14, 2004 by Merge Records. Preliminary recordings for Funeral were made during the course of a week in August 2003 at the Hotel2Tango in Montreal, Quebec, and the recording was completed later that year all in an analogue recording format. The album produced five singles, with "Rebellion (Lies)" being the most successful, having peaked at #19 on the UK Singles Chart. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005 for Best Alternative Music Album. It received widespread critical acclaim and topped many year-end and decade-end lists. According to the website Metacritic, the album had the second most appearances on end-of-decade Top 10 lists, only behind Radiohead's Kid A. In the 2020 updated version of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, it was ranked at number 500.
The kind of music your friend listens to because a girl he likes told him she liked it.
On of the great records of this century, from the moment it breaks the silence with tunnels to the dramatic and soulful ending, this is a complete triumph.
I understand what is wrong with millennials now
Funeral is the record that awakened me to Arcade Fire and drove the long stake of their art, sentiment, & depth into my heart forever. This album is 6 strong stars out of 5 and would easily rank in my top 20 albums of the last 20 years. There is no calling out any one song, as Funeral has not one weakness of any sort, but only lavishes us with the angst and love of youth that reminds me that no matter how far away from our childhoods that we are, we can dance, sing and celebrate life amidst the pain of living. HOW is this any band's first full length album? INCREDIBLE. **On Saturday I watched the St. Paddy's SNL episode from 2018 when AF performed from their latest album and was reminded once again how epic their live performances are. When the music venues are open once again and Arcade Fire is within driving distance, I will be there celebrating life and dancing with them.
Not sure if music from this period is bad or if I just didn't like it. But I did not enjoy this one bit; bland, pretentious, and needy. The early-00s equivalent of easy listening.
I fucking love this album so much. So much so I need to swear to emphasize the deepness of my love for it. You've probably heard half the songs from BBC montages in the past but not even they could ruin this album. Every song fits perfectly and flows to the next perfectly. Yes they are all weird arty canadians but wow. I think this might have been the first proper indie album I ever truly loved. And there's nothing like your first love. 5/5
BEST. FUNERAL. EVER!!!
The album that set the tone for Arcade Fire. The subject matter and lyrics reflect a disconnect with society. The white picket fence falling apart. The album plays with the idea of our surrounds reflected by a neighborhood. Heavy emotional subjects surrounded by big sound, organs, instruments. A full orchestra at times. The energy put forth by the band and deep connection makes it one of my favorites.
Brilliant instrumentation and melodies are constant throughout, each song stands out for its originality. The album builds to Crown of Love and Wake Up euphoria, continuing through to Rebellion. And then before you know it the pace slows right down to a reflective finale with In The Backseat. One of the best, most sonically and lyrically unique debut albums you will ever listen to. Sounds just as fresh it would have done in 2004.
I think my incredibly high rating for this probably says a lot about how old I am and where I spent my formative years.
Saved Prior: Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels), Neighborhood #2 (Laika), Neighborhood #3 (Power Out), Wake Up, Rebellion (Lies) Not Saved: 10. Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles) Saved: 9. Une Annee Sans Lumiere 8. Crown of Love 7. In the Backseat 6. Neighborhood #2 (Laika) 5. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) 4. Haiti 3. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) 2. Wake Up 1. Rebellion (Lies) Overall Notes: A very very difficult album to rank 1-10. I saw these guys in concert (would highly recommend) so I'm pretty familiar with their stuff, and each song on this album brings strong musical elements to the table. Album is super nostalgic yet at the same time forward looking. Great stuff. One thing I'll say is that it's crazy that Wake Up doesn't open up the album, and the tracklist flows a little weird to me. But what do I know? 4.75 rounded up because math.
Quintessential "indie" rock right here, and there is a particular honest charm here that I really dig throughout most of it.
Indie pop that’s just experimental enough to make people think they’re smart because they listen to it. There’s a cohesive, expansive sound to the record, but the songs don’t really accomplish anything, go anywhere or have any bite to them; it’s just a lot of sound that ends up being not very memorable. Didn’t get the hype when it came out. Still don’t get it now, but this might be the record that spawned a thousand imitators trying to cash in on the “indie sound”, which ultimately ruined indie rock. In that regard, “Funeral” is a fitting title, indeed.
This one. This one I want to hear performed live. I want the bass to tickle the soles of my feet and rattle my ribcage. I want to dance and sweat and mouth all the words. More than many, this album feels like one piece of work, rather than a collection of songs. I've never seen Arcade Fire. I'm making all of this up. Here is my daydream: This works best in my mind if I imagine a smallish venue --- max. capac. at most 500 people, an old theater with red velvet curtains and a proscenium stage. We've got reserved seats (we are too old for general admission) in the 6th row and a warm whiskey buzz going. The first three tracks bring us in gently, but each of these rises and falls in tempo and intensity, building to a boppy finish at the end of Une année sans lumière. And THEN, Neighborhood #3 hits like a ton of bricks and we are overwhelmed with sound and light and maybe we can't breathe. Good thing Neighborhood #4 is next so we can take a minute to recover, continuing into the beginning of Crown of Love which builds some more, shifting to a crooning ballad and again to a disco finish that leads into the steady groove of the anthemic Wake Up which itself shifts to a dance party reminiscent of The Jam or Iggy Pop. Rebellion really feels like a finale. We're all on our feet, jumping to the beat in unison. It's hot. We all need water. Almost done. We know. We are elated, high on the show. Applause, clapping, stomping. We want an encore! We hear In the Backseat start before lights come up. We close our eyes, all breathing the same air. Music builds for the last time. It is too much but we don't want it to end. Instruments gradually drop out one by one. No applause at the end of this one. We exit quietly, our ears ringing, a tear in our eyes, a gentle smile on our lips.
Honestly, this was very close to being a sonic masterpiece for me, but there were moments that took me out of the listening experience here and there. I think I will definitely re-visit this one and can easily see it becoming one of my favorites. From the instruments to the lyricism to the overall atmosphere, I'm pretty much sold.
I'm hard-pressed to think of this as anything other than my third-favorite Arcade Fire release. Realistically, it's probably their second-best. From both subjective and objective stances, it's an absolute icon of heart-on-sleeve indie. The quality jump from the EP is massive, and the rest of the oeuvre is built of many of the same ingredients. I find devastation, which as far as I can tell is the point, mostly at the beginning and end.
I just can't bear his weak whiny voice. Would have given it one star but I know there is far worse on this list ...
It's...... alright. I didn't enjoy it, I just listened to it. It's good, but not really.
5*..... a bona fide classic album. They never bettered this unfortunately, but what a debut!!!
Closer to a 4.5, but a 5 is deserved
Easily the most influential album of my childhood + teen years, one of my all-time favorites. No way to say how much this record means to me. Every note feels measured and intentional without losing any of the emotion behind it. And of course, I'm a sucker for a good theme. Wake Up, Tunnels, and Backseat send a chill down my spine a thousand listens later. I love you, Arcade Fire.
The more I hear from Arcade Fire, the more I love them. I was only 8 when this album came out, so I never got to hear it fully. But WOW, this record is packed with so much emotion and catharsis. Touching the subjects of death and mortality are something that artists either do very plainly because they are too general, or very deeply because they've actually experienced or thought about it in a personal moment. This album is the latter, by almost all members of the band, and they really put their heart into being expressionists. The sounds can be overwhelming and anxiety ridden - but in a beautiful way that makes sense and reflects the stages of grief we all must someday face. Favorite Song: Une Annee Sans Lumiere Least Favorite Song: Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)
I wanted to be cynical about this (probably due to his recent indiscretions) and say that on reflection they didn’t deserve the godlike indie reverence they received, but it’s just banger after banger.
Another album that took a while to grow on me, having not been familiar with it before. I didn’t grow fond of the lead vocal, though. It's a pet peeve when lyrics are unintelligible (said the crabby old person), and there's a quality of his voice that I struggle with. That said, it's because I started to like the rest of the music so much that his voice stood out so much to me. Maybe I'll get that, too, at some point. I enjoy this album more each time I listen. I like the very different musical sounds of each of the songs, and I can't really pick my favorites without listing most of them. I did have a special fondness for "In the Backseat" and the lyric "My family tree's losin' all its leaves" stabbed me a bit. It really did conjure up vivid emotion and imagery that goes with the album title.
Jättebra! Men jag blir så ledsen! Men det är så bra!
Mostly good songs that just roll through. When they work they're great. When they don't it just a bit indie meh
Arcade Fire are so overwrought that I feel just getting up in the morning and making breakfast involves a major production number for them. Fortunately for them the songs are generally good enough to live up to the treatment, at least on this album; I first heard this when it came out and did not expect much from it (wasn't a fan of the self-titled EP that preceded it), but it actually proved to be really solid. Still is.
Who or what is the funeral for? The youth? They do seem a mite hung-up about the world children are being born into. Or is it the death of the 'neighbourhood'--the slightly irritating conceit for four song titles? If it was me, I'd be lamenting the last three tracks, which are all 'slow builds'--the standard indie Polyfilla when a song isn't working. Despite the band's best efforts, thoe songs expire lamely anyway. Let's assume they never figured out what their concept was and remember that, until 'Haiti' comes around, it doesn't matter. Win's vocals are absurd, falling somewhere between Bono, David Thomas and Gerard Way (did you know such a place existed?) I guess that makes him part universalist, part edge-of-nervous breakdown, and part actual breakdown. The band walks its own tightrope between lavish orchestration and thin, scratchy guitars. Those components shouldn't work but mostly do because this gazillion-piece (who clearly had stadium aspirations from the start, so "indie" my butt) knows how to rinse every last drop from a key change. The one in the Kettle chorus epitomises their whole sound. And they can write in a way that's general enough to seem relevant to everyone but specific enough to stay weird ("They say a watched pot won't ever boil / You can't raise a baby on motor oil" is a favourite). They're best when they work themselves up into a tizz. The strings at the end of Crown of Love are so hyper they could have been made specially for a football highlights package. But when these guys are peaking not even a seven-goal thriller would match the melodrama. Shame they got scared of their shadow after The Suburbs.
Sounds like an indie album from the early 2000s. To be fair, this album probably popularized the sound. Big production, emotional vocals, varied instrumentation. There are some strong singles but the rest of the album feels a little same-y.
It sounds like if Cage The Elephant forgot how to write catchy hooks, I enjoyed a few moments alright though. Probably won’t listen again any time soon.
Had I been born 15 years later I might have been into these guys a lot more, although they give me definite Smashing Pumpkins vibes, and I was never keen on those guys. The vocalist has quite an annoying voice, which is directly responsible for me thinking the best song on the album by far is the final track that he doesn't sing.
Wanted to like it more than I actually did Way too meandering Rebellion (Lies), Wake Up, and Crown of Love are the good songs
If the people who invented and created recording equipment knew it was going to be (mis)used this way they would have never gone through with it. I hope they called it funeral to celebrate the end of their musical career because they realized they should have never even begun to try and make any music.
This is some of the whitest music I’ve ever heard in my life. I guess some might call this “ambitious” but I think it’s just a bit over the top and not very compelling.
I thought it was going to be better than what it was.
I don’t get them. I don’t get any of these “how many people can we fit on a stage? More? Give ‘em a drum” bands. If the songs were there I’d be down, but I’ve heard them for years, and listened now and found that literally none of it sticks in my mind. Gun to my head, I couldn’t name an Arcade Fire song to save my life. And I JUST listened to this album!
Please, this is not one of the finest albums of all time
Still holds up, even after every other band ripped off this sound. Glorious and epic!
Great to listen to this again.
What a great album. I have a bit of a new found appreciation for this band. My top 3 are: Neighborhood #3 (Power out), Wake Up, Crown of love.
Gotta be 5 stars
It’s not all five star but the good songs are fucking classic so they really bring that average up
Had a "soundtrack to life" feel to it. Great driving/ background music.
One of my all time favorites.
Aquest àlbum és un vell conegut. L'he escoltat infinitat de cops, i recuperar-lo avui segueix produint molt bones sensacions. No ha envellit gens, tot i que ja s'apropa als 20 anys. Un disc ple de temazos, de moments de gran èpica, d'altres més tranquils i preciosistes... La barreja em segueix semblant meravellosa. Sense inventar res, els Arcade Fire es defineixen perfectament amb aquest primer àlbum, i seguiran aportant cançons i àlbums imprescindibles al llarg dels anys següents. Tot i que segurament aquest primer seguirà sent el meu preferit. I què potents són en directe! A més, és un àlbum que es publica en una època molt bonica de la meva vida, vivint a Canalejas amb ma germana, després de la relació amb l'Olga, i a punt de començar la importantíssima etapa Filmax... O sigui que, a sobre, les cançons d'aquest àlbum van unides a records molt bonics i agradables.
One of my all time favourites
One of best debut albums ever!
A work of art
Great album this. Crown of love and wake up back to back is amazing
All Killer No Filler
Still a classic.
A lot of love for this album. Seems to be the most highly rate AF album, though not my favourite as a whole. Rebellion and Wake Up were such influential songs for me and are still so relevant - love them just as much today. Bunch of crazily talented people.
been thinking about them loads lately. good timing.
I like it. It has been good.
Incredible album. Not sure if this is my favorite Arcade Fire, but it's so good. I think I have more of a fondness for Neon Bible, since that is the album that really got me into Arcade Fire, but I'd have to listen through all of them again to pick a favorite.
dripping with passion
Really enjoyed this when it came out. Wake Up is one of my favorite songs.
On of my favorite albums of all time.
4.7 + One of several great AF albums but arguably their masterpiece. Set around themes of suburban life, isolation and rebirth. A satisfying arc of songs that grabs you from the beginning and leads you on a journey. So many standout tracks.
really good comic book reading album. Will probably look it up later to read to Might create a jurassic park to this album
This album was important to me when it came out and and I still really like it today, it's part "I like it" and part "i'm a homer" but otherwise it's hard to explain it other than by saying I love pretty much everything about it. It's a shame that the legacy of this album is a bunch of shitty bands trying to recreate this sound for a decade and an original band I just don't care about whatsoever outside of this lp
Loved it since I first heard it.
Already liked it before, so pretty biased. Power Out, Wake Up – BANGERS.
Arcade Fire's first album, 2004. The album was given its title because several band members had recently lost members of their families. Despite indie rock is not my favourite genre of music I liked the sound and atmosphere of this album a lot!
I like the range of sound and the lyrics felt personal and sad.
Neighbourhood #3 (lieb das Xylophon) Haiti
Love this album. Always have, always will.
I haven't listened to this album in quite a while - so it was good to have this opportunity to revisit it. On this listen the similarities to the Electric Light Orchestra stood out. The way that many of their songs have distinct, contrasting "movements" and their use or orchestral instruments and the string arrangements at times had me thinking Arcade Fire is a sort of alternative music evolution of ELO. I love the song "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)." The music and vocal performance transports me to the snow covered landscape of the song. "Neighborhood #2 (Laika)" with its shouty delivery and accordion tackles dysfunctional family dynamics and sacrificial lambs by referencing Laika, the first creature sent on a one-way trip into space. "So the neighbors can dance in the police disco lights." Incredible imagery and a great song. "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)" is one of my favorite songs on the album. The xylophone is a fantastic addition to this song that starts with a power failure and goes to so many places from there… Crown of Love's" heartbreaking exploration of love and its impermanence shows the softer side of Arcade Fire, until it builds to a frenetic ending. So good. "Wake Up" is a masterpiece. 'We're just a million little gods causing rain storms turning every good thing to rust.' Wow. "Rebellion (Lies)" is a close contender for favorite song on the album. The key changes on "Every time you close your eyes" are so great. "In The Backseat" gives the lead vocals to Régine Chassagne and is a cool change to end the album on. I love the feelings evoked of just riding in the backseat... and at times her voice is very reminiscent of Björk to me - so compelling. I love this album. FUNERAL's strong underlying themes of family and community are explored with a desperation that is palpable. A fantastic debut from Arcade Fire that has more than earned its place on this list!
Masterpiece. Among the top 5 albums of the last 20 years. Some of the songs on here are in the all-time pantheon. I might argue Tunnels is my favorite opening track on any album, ever.
Fantastic album. Top 10 all time for me. Such a great introduction for folks to indie. 5/5
I always forget how much I like this band and how great their first 3 albums are (Reflektor is really good, but the first 3 are perfect). This album definitely deserves to be on a list of best debut albums of all time.
Real fun, one of my favourites actually. A mix of slightly left field music and lyrics
Loved it. Could only listen to one track, though. What happened? Wanted to listen to more. Sad.
When i first heard this, i loved it an wasn't sure why... definitely not a conventional alt rock album, but it's creativity and energy were easy to enjoy. Album still holds up... pretty incredible from start to finish.
A triumphant moment for music. Music fans may have decided that such a sound is dated and that every era has a sound and that you can't relate to things from out of your time. But really I reject that. Funeral is one of the most emotional and relatable stories of adolescent uncertainty ever crafted, with all of life's pure unrestrained rebellion, despair, and the in between. They are a band with fucking violinists and horn players but at the end of the day it's music recorded with a fidelity that frankly anyone could acquire with simple homely writing. Regine and Winn Butler's voice breaking the limits of the mix on tracks such as Neighborhood #1 and In the Backseat is not something to be frowned upon. They're astounding moments of incredibly talented individuals screaming into the void at the loss of the light of their parent's and community's guidance. Yet through this expression of pain, Funeral becomes an almost communal event which is what I think truly makes Funeral the epitome of what everyone loves or hates about the genre. The album has a few weaker spots that I can easily note but that would take away from the sentiment I want to express. Funeral is one of the most loveable albums I have and ever will meet and I love returning to it every time.
I feel like I always think these guys are better than they really are. Like, when I saw this album I thought \"oh yeah, it's really good\" and then I listened to it and thought \"is it?\" And I know I've done that on this album and other Arcade Fire albums on previous listens. So, I tried to put the music critics' constant fawning out of my mind and evaluate for myself. Tunnels holds up - simple baseline instruments (piano, xylophone?) that mix well with the guitars and drums, thoughtful lyrics, and Win Butler's desperation-style vocals. And it's that combination that works well on multiple tracks (Une Annee sans Lumiere, Kettles - really beautiful). It also sometimes fails (Laika - Butler and strings too whiny, In the Backseat - Regine Chassagne's vocals are hit or miss). But there are also a series of songs that take those previous good things and then go further by adding in an edgy, high energy, more rock feel. Power Out and Wake Up are good examples. The best example is Rebellion - it will probably always stay in my top 20 alternative rock songs (the opening bass line, then the piano, then the rest of the instruments - love it). I don't know where to put Arcade Fire in terms of influencing the indie rock revival/explosion of the 2000's (that is still going strong today) but this album is certainly in the middle of all of it. And so after some focused listens, yeah it's really, really good.
Rating: 9/10 Best songs: Tunnels, Laika, Power out, Crown of love, Wake up, Haiti, Rebellion
Love this album. A bit late to the party but better late than never
This was one of the most surprising albums to listen to, despite being a good album, i never expected to hit the feels like this. In a crisp 48 min run time which is much shorter than most other albums I have listened to, they (Arcade Fire) have discussed many ideas from the present such as childhood loss, wanting to run away and other feelings that would be commonplace now in 2021. Companied with strong instrumentation that changes from down and slow to rebellious and upbeat to even using the French language this album stuck out in all the right ways
Jamás habría imaginado que al volver a escuchar este disco después de tantos años, lloraría. Es como volver a casa. Desprende inocencia, unas veces dulce, otras rabiosa, pero siempre bella. Descubrí a Arcade Fire con “Power Out” y en ese momento supe que estaba ante algo nuevo, original e icónico, como el “Breathe” de The Prodigy. El disco, inesperadamente, resultó no ser tan eléctrico como el single. Sin embargo, después de varias escuchas no importó porque lo que este disco tenía era algo más y ese algo te desgarraba por dentro. Era imposible parar de escucharlo. Hoy he vuelto a esa época en la que mis oídos estaban cogiendo forma y he sentido un gozo incontenible al hacerlo. Hay funerales que llenan a uno de felicidad.
Brilliant album Not sure how to criticise this beyond saying I prefer Neon Bible, which doesn't seem fair. So 5 stars it is (to keep Jack happy)
Possibly my favourite album. It's hard to describe how it makes me feel without sounding pretentious, so I might as well lean into it... For me, it's like an escape into some time and place that probably never existed (between the click of the light and the start of the dream, you might say). Rustic and intimate yet also epic and ethereal. There's an earnestness to the the lyrics that lends extra power and purpose to the oh-whoa-whoa singalong bits. They come across a bit like they're preaching the views of some cult, but one whose cause I can really get behind. Laika and Power Out bring a chaotic energy, like punk if punk was invented 200 years ago in Central Europe. Tunnels might be the most romantic song I've ever heard, in some strange way. And Rebellion is the best of the lot - that string/vocal melody in the outro is one of my all-time favourite bits of music. Also, I reckon In The Backseat is their underrated masterpiece. Love that portentous guitar chord at 2:25, and the way the track diminishes to just a whisper at the end sounds like being left alone with your thoughts after everyone leaves the party, or life continuing after someone has died. Which is what I believe the song, (and most of the album), is about: life, death, and the struggle to hold onto childhood innocence as you get older. Saw it performed live once but loads of people talked over it. Ah well, it's only music innit.
Staple indie from my formative years. Cue Schmidt's finger snaps: "Let's start an Arcade Fire"
This is an all time favourite and one of the most important albums in my teens. I haven't given this a listen in a long time but it still holds up. It doesn't give me the same emotional listen like in the past but all the songs hold up and are super fun. Good songwriting on here and nice arrangements, with a good lyrical theme that goes through the album. Still love it.
So many good songs - very unique (or at least it was unique at the time).
Excellent debut album
Ah yes a classic from my early post college days.
I love this one more every time I hear it. A modern classic for sure, and one of the best debuts of all time. So impressive and beautiful and still the best thing Arcade Fire have done imo
Absolutely thoroughly enjoyed. No criticism.
What an album- some cracking songs and always hits me in the feels. Sooooo gooood!