Funeral was actually my introduction to Arcade Fire. As I've mentioned several times before, I used to hang out at Eastside Records, which was the greatest vinyl spot in the state. Every time I went in there, the owners would be spinning obscure reggae platters or early Scott Walker records. One week they were spinning "Crown of Love" over and over again, and I just couldn't get over the awesome tempo change at the end of the song, which turns a ballad into a frantic plea. I bought Funeral and never looked back.
Arcade Fire has a certain grandiosity and a tendency to reach beyond their grasp. Funeral as a whole sounds a lot like British Sea Power, but somehow it feels like they always intended to be more, which gives this album an air of dignity and ambition which spills over into their next efforts.