Album Review: Arcade Fire – Reflecktor (Merge Records; 2013)

BY HANNAH GREENFIELD

Reflektor is exactly the album you would expect if you were to throw Arcade Fire into a thirty year old Jamaican castle and then allow James Murphy to clean up afterwards. Less orchestral and more dark ebbing dance beats, Arcade Fire prove that they are capable of reinventing themselves, yet on the whole still remain the same poignant Indie rockers who hit the scene ten years ago with their EP “The Arcade Fire”.

Opening with the seven-and-a-half-minutes single ‘Reflektor’ and stretching over two discs, the albums covers a lot of ground. ‘Reflektor’ itself serves as the perfect opening to the album. The call and response from Win Butler and Regine Chassagne works effortlessly, and gives fans something to pray for in the live shows. Moving on through the album, the fourth track ‘Here Comes the Night Time’ marks a definite high point as the song bursts open, revving up the pace before slowing back down to a pleasant electric beat as the vocals start.
The second disc focuses on the ancient Greek myth of the tragic tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus, whose music was able to charm all things was granted by Hades to bring his wife Eurydice back from the Underworld, but only if he was able to walk in front without looking back at her. He wasn’t able to do it, and she vanished forever. In the same way, the album Reflektor alludes all the way back to debut album, Funeral. The second disc marks a distinctly more melancholy sound ; ‘Afterlife’ serves as potentially one of the best songs on the album, with heavy drumbeats, gentle synth and chilling lyrics.

As a whole, the album is a masterpiece that reflects a change in sound for Arcade Fire. They replace the strings for synths, but it is a welcome transformation and in no way diminishes the likability of the band whose five albums have each developed in their own way and always added something new.

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