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Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Beki Kidwell


Like many of my reviews, I have to begin by praising the past work of this particular band. The Funeral began the legacy, while Neon Bible lands at first place as one my favourite albums of all time; and while The Suburbs offered such a clean and non-temperamental listen, Reflektor embraces an entirely new concept for the world of modern music.

It’s shocking this is only their fourth studio album. I feel as though I’ve known and loved every note this band has created for a very, very long time.

The album begins with title track and first single from the release, Reflektor. This 7 minute song offers sultry French vocals, a beat to kill and the possibility of a (so far unproven) guest vocal from David Bowie. It’s safe to say, after just the opening notes I couldn’t stop moving. As always, Arcade Fire emit a hallucinogenic, hypnotic sense of abandon in their songs.

Two tracks in, including the epic We Exist, I found myself feeling like I’d listened to this album a hundred times before. It’s like a comfort. Flashbulb Eyes radiates the feel of a David Lynch film, while the hugely popular duo of Here Comes the Night Time and Here Comes the Night Time 2 follow cyclic drum and synth beats alongside contrasting harmonies from Win Butler and Régine Chassagne.

A little further down the line, track Normal Person opens with Butler asking the listener, “Do you like rock and roll music, cos’ I don’t know if I do”, giving off a strong vibe of inspiration from The Guillemots Bad Boyfriend EP. Grungy mid-track Joan of Arc showcases the bands ability to change-it-up and laugh in the face of the people who doubted their ability to create a new sound.

What can be easily referred to as being their most anticipated album to date, Reflektor very simply doesn’t let anybody down. Porno and It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus) are tracks that won’t take long to become classics – though I haven’t heard much by the band that can’t be referred to as such. Pulsating beats and clashing vocals sit comfortably behind viciously deep guitar riffs and irrevocably sexy synth tones that give listeners that ‘my heart is in my ears’ feeling.

By the time closing tracks Supersymmetry and Afterlife kick in, you really do feel like you’ve died and come back again. After going full circle, you are left with a chill up your neck that you can’t seem to alleviate and a tremendous sense that you’ve just heard what may one day take the place of their predecessor as one of the greatest albums of all time.