Rolling Stone (p.173) - 4 stars out of 5 - "FUNERAL aches with elegiac intensity....FUNERAL captures the agony and even ecstasy of surviving death all around you."Rolling Stone (p.141) - Included in Rolling Stone's Top 50 Records Of 2004 - "[W]ith lavishly orchestrated, emotionally stunning tales..."Entertainment Weekly (p.81) - "FUNERAL is a lovely, uplifting, and often pleasingly grandiose whirl through a panoply of sounds..." - Grade: B+Uncut (p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Their songs strike out at unexpected angles, bringing to mind a morbidly romantic 19th-century Radiohead."Magnet (p.100) - "[A] compelling debut....FUNERAL deals with grief by obsessing over new relations and future births, decorating each lost leaf in brilliant fall colors."CMJ (p.38) - "Putting the 'fun' back in FUNERAL, the debut disc from Montreal indie-pop sextet Arcade Fire exhumes instrumentation extinct since third-grade music class and sets them ablaze in anything but a macabre fashion."Mojo (Publisher) (p.58) - Ranked #2 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2005" - "[T]he Montreal orch-rock sextet's debut was fervent and uplifting."Mojo (Publisher) (p.59) - Ranked #60 in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "Joyful, original and sweet."Mojo (Publisher) (p.96) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Echoes of Wire at their mid-'80s jackhammer funk zenith abound on 'Rebellion', while yearning cellos frame a breathtaking turn from Chassagne on 'In the Backseat'."Clash (magazine) (p.78) - "Few albums of similar emotional intensity have had the same staying power as FUNERAL..."
Uncut (p.127) - 3 stars out of 5 - "It's a fascinating work...introducing their unique amalgam of epic rock, Salinger-like flight from adulthood and....meandering country-soul..."
Uncut (p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[H]ere's the real crunch: exclusive tracks from Interpol and the astounding, effortlessly melancholic Arcade Fire."
Rolling Stone - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[W]ith excellent covers of Gabriel classics. Arcade Fire warp 'Games Without Frontiers' with Reflektor-style dub..."Q (Magazine) (p.107) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Regina Spektor's 'Blood Of Eden' and Elbow's 'Mercy Street' are worth the price of admission..."Mojo (Publisher) (p.91) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Randy Newman declutters the SO groover 'Big Time' to reveal the Randy-like groaner within -- a rare find in a songbook more noted for cryptic allusion than transparency of meaning"
Entertainment Weekly (No. 841, p.91) - "...[W]ondrously echoes the somber strains of Yo La Tengo and the more timid tendencies of the Arcade Fire." - Grade: A-Magnet (p.108) - "[E]ven in its somber moments, BIRDS is all catchy, all the time."
Entertainment Weekly (No. 821/822, p.136) - "[S]inger Adam Olenius brings a scratchy fragility to these 11 urgently peppy toe-tappers....the merry melodies are as warm as the guitars are fuzzy..." - Grade: B+Uncut (p.109) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Inspired by Polish movie posters, macabre fairy tales and, by the sounds of it, an arsenal of Arcade Fire bootlegs....[They] have much going for them.
Rolling Stone (4/13/00, p.132) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...a gorgeous work....running the gamut of Giant Sand's signature styles, from murmured poetry to sinuous countrified pop...to sprawling drunken blues....enchanting..."Spin (6/00, p.152) - 8 out of 10 - "...Dreamy...as startling for its technical gloss as its emotional wallop....easily the band's most finished work....steeped in [frontman, Howe Gelb's] distinct roots messthetic, just recorded better..."Q (5/00, p.107) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Parched, desolate country-noir of the leanest, meanest kind....subdued, atmospheric [and] suprisingly orderly....Giant Sand's most persuasive album to date..."Magnet (1-2/01, p.45) - Included in Magnet's "20 Best Albums of 2000" - "...Easily Giant Sand's finest hour..."CMJ (3/6/00, p.3) - "...the band's ragged glory has now been replaced with songcraft and subtlety....Well-heeled and well-behaved, Giant Sand indeed puts its best foot forward..."No Depression (5-6/00, pp.113-4) - "...No other Sand project illustrates...Gelb's creative ambience integrated within a subtly linear structure...so well as CHORE....[It] finds a homey balance between the random and ephemeral, the rational and immutable."Mojo (Publisher) (5/00, p.92) - "...A suitably sombre undertow, with [Howe] Gelb's world-weary vocals becoming positively sepulchral on the likes of 'Wolfy' and 'Dusted'...[though] there are plenty of uplifting moments to be found..."NME (Magazine) (3/18/00, p.34) - 8 out of 10 - "...raids America's cultural aquarium to create a bold, often disorienting world....full of loss and wondering, tremulous sensitivity and gentle explosions of color....There's never been a better time to get your head stuck in the Sand."Record Collector (magazine) (p.95) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here's an inherent sense of tragedy that runs through the veins of these songs."
Musician (3/91) - "..Volume Three further pursues motivic chiaroscuro, contrasting the pastoral with the urban.."