Album Review

Arcade Fire/Rey,Alvino [coll] – [Merge Records]

Max Level   1/26/2006   7-inch, A Library

Arcade Fire are from Montreal, and have somewhere between 5 and 8 members, depending on who you ask. Side A is a pop number that rushes along with a nice buildup of keyboards, guitar, drums, and background vocals. Arcade frontman Win Butler’s vocals sound pretty worked-up emotionally, describing what might be a suburban neighborhood’s unseen underbelly; tunnels connecting bedrooms and such. Side B is an interesting thing: an old recording (previously unavailable?) of Butler’s grandfather, bandleader/steel guitarist Alvino Rey. He passed away in early 2004, and his 1940 performance of the standard “My Buddy” is included here as a tribute. Rey plays his famous talking steel guitar, and there’s a subtly amusing bit in the middle of the song.

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