Canada - Full Moon 101 - 12/26/04
The Arcade Fire
There's an eerie similarity between what this album does to me and what Interpol's Turn on
the Bright Lights did to me a couple of years ago: it has me believing in indie-rock and the
power of emotion in music.
You can take your irony any day and stuff it up your dance-punk ass - this is unashamedly emotional
music and all the better for it. It's the sheer weight of emotional expression that gives this record
its incredible power. Straight from the off, where Win Butler sings of digging a tunnel through the
snow to reach his lover in "Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)", there's an undeniably passionate momentum
behind this music. And in this opening track I reckon The Arcade Fire have just about swept away
the accolade for my favourite song of the year. It's real 'sing-along-as-loud-as-you-can-whilst-punching-the-air'
The other nine songs don't quite match the genius of this opening salvo, but the rest of the
album is certainly excellent. It has a pleasingly coherent 'album' feel to it, from the lovely packaging
(I love quality packaging, especially as it's one of the only middle fingers you can put up to music
downloaders) to the themes that run through the lyrics.
The feel of the music is undeniably indie-rock with a gorgeous, heavy low-end, angsty vocal delivery
and a mood bleeding between melancholic dejection and triumphant rejuvenation. Like all the best music
it articulates something intangible through the simultaneous expression of something that's ineffably
beautiful yet irredeemably doomed - human love.
Copyright © 2004 Tim Clarke