Arcade Fire: Reflektor

Album review
Arcade Fire: Reflektor

Arcade Fire


Label: Merge
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop

While listening to Arcade Fire’s Reflektor the first time I quickly flashed back to the Talking Heads’ Remain in Light, and there was probably some rationale behind that. Both albums replaced a readily-identifiable sound with something headier. More complex, layered, and intricate than previous efforts, these records relied upon studio tweaking plus expanded personnel to help shape a sonic wonderland and find a funkier groove. Remain in Light is my favorite Talking Heads album, and likewise Reflektor stands out for me amongst Arcade Fire releases. The group’s self-avowed art-rock tendencies show up in full force, but at the same time the band seems gutsier. Also, there’s less reliance on anthems that can induce monotony in less-committed listeners. Lyrically there’s a lot to soak in on Reflektor, with songs about Eurydice, Joan of Arc, and the afterlife testing your knowledge of things mythological, historical, and theological. I don’t know what “reflektor” means here or why Arcade Fire chooses to spell it that way. But because Reflektor works so well for me on a visceral level—Reginé Chassagne’s siren-like vocals, the powerchord bombast of “Normal Person,” and the seductive melody of “You Already Know” are just a few examples—I’m already on board.

More Info

  • primary artist, Arcade Fire

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