The first album from Canadian group Arcade Fire has attracted so much positive press from both its native country and America that the rest of the world must feel that it has been missing out. Finally 'Funeral' has got its UK release so will cynical Britain take to it so well? Initially there is a recognisable post-punk influence. Three of the first four tracks (all part of the 'Neighbourhood' sequence) sound modern and euphoric blessed by a passionate performance from all band members involved. There is a rattling intensity to the first half of the record and - together with Win Butler's crazed vocals - there are strong comparisons to be made with the unfairly overlooked Medium 21. What happens after this is less remarkable as the music becomes ever more theatrical and it's a shift in style which doesn't really convince. At least towards the end some lost ground is recovered as 'Rebellion' restores much needed muscle to proceedings and the tearful finale 'In The Backseat' sees Butler's wife Régine Chassagne take over lead vocal duties and sing quite beautifully. This is certainly a highly intriguing album but it falls short of classic status.