Album review: “Reflektor” by Arcade Fire

By Fiona Armstrong-Pavlik

 

They won a Grammy and disappeared for three years, but Arcade Fire is definitely back.

 

But they’re not the same. It’s not a surprise, though. Pretty much every band that achieves crazy success goes into some kind of weird phase afterward.

 

This album is certainly not dull: it’s full of electronic beats and a variety of vocal styles. It’s a lot more guitar-heavy than previous Arcade Fire albums, and it lacks the folky undertones of their earlier works.

 

It’s also artier than anything the group has put out before. It’s super cohesive, and good to listen to as a whole. Most of the songs are pretty long, though – a lot are about six minutes – so I don’t think many of these tracks will make any of the playlists I listen to regularly.

 

About halfway through the album, a lot of the songs have French in them. I guess that was to remind listeners that the group hasn’t changed too much.

“Reflektor” and “We Exist” are pretty similar, with a really electronic sound. They also both have plenty of slow parts that aren’t very interesting. “Normal Person” sounds kind of  blues-y.

 

My favorite track on the album is “You Already Know.” It’s pretty happy, and it sounds a lot like older Arcade Fire but with way more synth. “Joan of Arc” is also good, but it’s more on the punk side of things.

 

“It’s Never Over”  sounds futuristic and sort of like Daft Punk was involved with its production (they weren’t, though).

Reflektor is a mix of a lot of things. Not all of the tracks are great for listening to on their own, but the album as a whole is certainly impressive. Whether you’ve liked Arcade Fire in the past or not, it’s worth a listen.

 

Watch the music video for “Reflektor” here: