Universal acclaim - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. One of the best albums of the year, hands down.
  2. 100
    An emotionally wracked masterpiece, drawing on immaculate influences like the Pixies and Talking Heads while sounding distinctly original.
  3. Blender
    Reveals added nuance with every listen. [Jan/Feb 2005, p.102]
  4. Encompassing chamber pop melodies, angular art-rock, lavish orchestration and post-punk vocals, its sheer sonic size and ambition goes some way towards justifying the amount of gushing praise that's been heaped upon this album since its September release on Merge last year. The fact that the music is so paradoxically life-affirming and euphoric makes it much easier to write, what now feel like, trite hyperboles.
  5. One of the year's best already, by a mile.
  6. 100
    “Funeral” is the sort of perfectly-realised record you’d hope from a band at the top of their game. For a debut release it’s unmatched in recent years. Hearing it is to wake from a black and white slumber and to view the world in widescreen Technicolour.
  7. An energetic and original statement.... Essential.
  8. So long as we're unable or unwilling to fully recognize the healing aspect of embracing honest emotion in popular music, we will always approach the sincerity of an album like Funeral from a clinical distance. Still, that it's so easy to embrace this album's operatic proclamation of love and redemption speaks to the scope of The Arcade Fire's vision.
  9. And that's how the album goes--too fond of drama, but aware of its small place in the big world, and usually beautiful.
  10. 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.
  11. Like The Fiery Furnaces' Gallowsbird Park, or Interpol's Turn On The Bright Lights, Funeral is a debut record that simply refuses to be ignored.
  12. One of the most engaging and thrilling pop statements of 2004.
  13. Funeral... is a resounding success on all levels---the group clearly able to make something incredible out of the familiar, and something inexplicably moving out of one emotionally draining year.
  14. It’s hard to imagine many other bands talented enough to even poorly imitate this.
  15. Funeral is a remarkable record, hard to hear at first, then hard to stop hearing.
  16. Not only are the songs uniformly excellent, they also show a mastery of the art of controlled dynamics, of tension and release, that most young bands ignore to pursue the catharsis of sustained intensity.
  17. New Musical Express (NME)
    For those of us who still believe in music's power to redeem, 'Funeral' feels like detox, the most cathartic album of the year. [5 Mar 2005, p.49]
  18. Q Magazine
    It's so out of step with most indie rock it's as if it's been beamed from outer space. [Apr 2005, p.126]
  19. Paste Magazine
    Musically dynamic and emotionally complex. [#13, p.132]
  20. If I were to have just heard the first half of the disc, I probably would have proclaimed it the best of the year as well.
  21. Entertainment Weekly
    For the most part, Funeral is a lovely, uplifting, and often pleasingly grandiose whirl through a panoply of sounds. [5 Nov 2004, p.81]
  22. Listening to Funeral takes a bit of patience. With most of the songs, the payoff doesn't come right away; in some cases, it sneaks up on you after several spins.
  23. Funeral aches with elegiac intensity.
  24. The New York Times
    One of the year's best indie-rock albums. [3 Oct 2004]
  25. Uncut
    At times their lurid romanticism can be an acquired taste... But there's an ambition and articulacy here. [Mar 2005, p.104]
  26. Mojo
    All the components that make the Arcade Fire such a gripping live proposition remain intact on this full-length debut. [Apr 2005, p.96]
  27. In terms of sheer ambition -- and the realization that if you're going to use strings, you might as well go completely over the top with them -- The Arcade Fire is a promising, unapologetically melodramatic sure bet.
  28. "Funeral" is a modest debut, but it hints at a band that sounds like its ready to make a statement over the next several years.
  29. Funeral's layering of sound and wide-eyed posing can be overly dense, and though the band utilizes nice melodies and lively arrangements, the nostalgia-steeped-indie-rock-orchestra pool was pretty much drained before The Arcade Fire dove in.
  30. Funeral is a truly eccentric rock record: bizarre at turns and recognizable elsewhere, equally beautiful and harrowing, theatrical and sincere, defying categorization while attempting to create new genres.
  31. Alternative Press
    Strikingly beautiful pop songs. [Nov 2004, p.142]
  32. Marred by indie-rock clichés and occasional over-effort, it remains frustrating.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 988 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 59 out of 988
  1. MarkL
    Oct 2, 2005
    One of the best albums of the last decade.
  2. MattC
    Jan 11, 2005
    hands down the best album I've ever heard
  3. WillyP
    Nov 18, 2005
    Imagine if they hired a real singer!