What do you do when you have not one but three popular-as-hell albums to follow up, the most recent being Grammy Award winning The Suburbs?
You call your pal James Murphy, of LCD Soundsystem fame, and you produce a 76 minute one part Haitian Carnival, one part thesis on ancient Greek epic Orpheus and Eurydice, your name is Arcade Fire.
Arcade Fire have once again pushed themselves to create a entrancing new sound in Reflektor, in which you can hear Caribbean flavours and influences including the Beatles, LCD Soundsystem and David Bowie – incidentally the former whom produced as mentioned above, and the latter who lends his pipes as the third vocalist on the album.
Reflektor is as mesmerising as it is confusing, it takes a few spins to appreciate the tone of the album, and after you’ve had a few spins and your catalogue automatically rolls on to say Funeral or Neon Bible you’re shocked back to just how different this album is. Take for instance ‘Here Comes the Night Time’ and ‘Flashbulb Eyes’ – upbeat, dancey tunes that with experimental bass and percussion lines, sit somewhere between a block party and a beachside carnival; not the indie Canadian setting we were in with The Suburbs.
My recommendation: skip to Volume Two, golden tracks ‘It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus)’, ‘Porno’ and ‘Afterlife’ will have you hitting repeat time and time again whether it be for an infectious rock sound with continually building melodies, a ‘come hither’ bassline paired with Win Butler’s scratchy vocals, or dancefloor ready, highly sing-along-able make-up track.
Reflektor will have you in two, maybe three or four minds about it – for a group that have been producing coherent, strong albums with distinct characters, this fourth studio album from Arcade Fire sprawls a bit to find its feet, but sprawling with Arcade Fire is a perfectly good way to spend 76 minutes if you ask me.
Pick up a copy of Reflektor now from iTunes.