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Released: Sept. 14, 2004

Rating: 4.353 (average of 14 ratings)

Genre: indie rock

Quotable: “The Arcade Fire’s emotional debut…is brave, empowering, and dusted with something that many of the indie-rock genre’s more contrived acts desperately lack: an element of real danger.” – James Christopher Monger, All Music Guide

Album Tracks:

  1. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
  2. Neighborhood #2 (Laika)
  3. Une Année Sans Lumière
  4. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
  5. Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles)
  6. Crown of Love
  7. Wake Up
  8. Haiti
  9. Rebellion (Lies)
  10. In the Backseat

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 0.5
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 1.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 131
peak on U.K. album chart 33

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) (6/20/04) --
  • Neighborhood #2 (Laika) (3/28/05) #30 UK
  • Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) (5/23/05) #26 UK
  • Rebellion (Lies) (9/12/05) #19 UK
  • Wake Up (11/14/05) #29 UK


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more.

Arcade Fire
“Fronted by the husband-and-wife team of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, the Arcade Fire’s emotional debut – rendered even more poignant by the dedications to recently departed family members contained in its liner notes – is brave, empowering, and dusted with something that many of the indie-rock genre’s more contrived acts desperately lack: an element of real danger.” JM “The album drips with enough romanticism to rival Jeff Buckley’s Grace.” RW

Funeral’s mourners – specifically Butler and Chassagne – inhabit the same post-apocalyptic world as London Suede’s Dog Man Star; they are broken, beaten, and ferociously romantic, reveling in the brutal beauty of their surroundings like a heathen Adam & Eve.” JM “Butler sings like Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood used to play, like a lion-tamer whose whip grows shorter with each and every lash. He can barely contain himself, and when he lets loose it’s both melodic and primal, like Berlin-era Bowie or British Sea Power.” JM

Throughout Funeral, the band augments its five-piece lineup with string sections, weaving near-cinematic, folk-influenced chamber pop that slots in somewhere between Belle and Sebastian’s delicacy and the robust classicism of ’80s New Zealand bands such as the Chills and the Verlaines.” RW

Wake Up, “featuring all 15 musicians singing in unison,” JM “builds from a midtempo strum into a ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ gallop, which singer Win Butler interrupts with a yell: ‘You better look out below!’ Somehow, none of this hits the ear as overemotional.” RW

Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels), the first of four metaphorical forays into the geography of the soul, follows a pair of young lovers who meet in the middle of the town through tunnels that connect to their bedrooms. Over a soaring piano lead that’s effectively doubled by distorted guitar, they reach a Lord of the Flies-tinged utopia where they can’t even remember their names or the faces of their weeping parents.” JM

Neighborhood #2 (Laïka) examines suicidal desperation through an angular Gang of Four prism; the hypnotic wash of strings and subtle meter changes of Neighborhood #4 (7 Kettles) winsomely capture the mundane doings of day-to-day existence; and Neighborhood #3 (Power Out), Funeral’s victorious soul-thumping core, is a goose bump-inducing rallying cry centered around the notion that ‘the power’s out in the heart of man, take it from your heart and put it in your hand’.” JM

“The Arcade Fire are not bereft of whimsy. Crown of Love is like a wedding cake dropped in slow motion, utilizing a Johnny Mandel-style string section and a sweet, soda-pop stand chorus to provide solace to a jilted lover yearning for a way back into the fold, and Haiti relies on a sunny island melody to explore the complexities of Chassagne’s mercurial homeland.” JM

“However, it’s the sheer power and scope of cuts like ‘Wake Up’…and the mesmerizing, early-Roxy Music pulse of Rebellion (Lies) that make Funeral the remarkable achievement that it is. These are songs that pump blood back into the heart as fast and furiously as it’s draining from the sleeve on which it beats, and by the time Chassagne dissects her love of riding In the Backseat with the radio on, despite her desperate fear of driving, Funeral’s singular thread is finally revealed; love does conquer all, especially love for the cathartic power of music.” JM

“One of the indie rock community’s most beloved finds of 2004, Arcade Fire are poised to win over even more listeners.” RW

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Links:

next album: Neon Bible (2007)

Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)

Neighborhood #2 (Laika)

Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)

Rebellion (Lies)

Wake Up

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Last updated August 17, 2010.