40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
In the beginning,
This review is from: Arcade Fire (Audio CD)
It's hard to believe that one of the hottest new indie rock bands first debuted with an unknown EP. The first collection of the Arcade Fire's music -- self-released at their concerts in 2003 -- is now being rereleased, letting fans see the sprawling splendor of their earliest work.
Don't expect just an extension of their full-length debut "Funeral," though. This EP was recorded two years and several personal upheavals before their full-length debut, so it has a very different sound -- the sound of a lush, melancholy band who is figuring out their musical style.
It starts off on a high note with "Old Flame," before stumbling slightly with a mellow, meandering rocker with Régine Chassagne's eerie vocals taking the lead. After that, they dabble in dreamy folk-rock for awhile, before climaxing into the exquisite "Vampire Forest Fire," a painful look at destructive families. "You wanna be set apart?/Burn all of your art/repair the wasteful part/I'm a vampire in a forest fire..."
It's hard not to be smitten with the Arcade Fire. Ever since several nu-psychedelic bands went off the radar, it's become difficult to find bands that are brave enough to experiment, but able to keep it accessable. Enter the Arcade Fire, a Montreal band that does both things, a refreshing change in the world of increasingly stale music.
"EP" isn't quite as wildly unique as their later work; some of the songs have echoes of Mercury Rev or fellow Canadians Broken Social Scene. The thing is, they're really good echoes. And the songs that they echo through are very good work, rich and complex, putting the musical and lyrical talents of Arcade Fire to work.
Much like the later "Funeral," there isn't a lot of happy-happy-joy to be found here. Either the stuff is ambiguous like "I'm sleeping in a battle ship," or the Arcade Fire is musing on loneliness, fear, sorrow, romantic unworthiness, and deserted countrysides. Even the relatively hopeful "Headlights Look Like Diamonds" has a mournful edge: "Tell me how this story ends/Before the fires go cold..."
The Arcade Fire's debut EP is a must-have for fans of this unique band. While not as powerful or unique as their full-length album, it's still a richly engaging EP.
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Initial post: Mar 8, 2014 9:13:19 PM PST
So how does this rate 5-stars, given that your review is hardly raving about the CD? What's wrong with this picture? Do you write reviews just to hear yourself 'talk' or what?
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