Coming off their Grammy for Album of the Year in 2011, Arcade Fire was on top. There is no outdoing the band’s near perfect, third studio album, The Suburbs.
The band members were aware of this, so for their latest album they looked for new inspiration. They went soul searching in Haiti, and the result from the journey came the vast and ambitious Reflektor.
Arcade Fire’s fourth album expands on their already opaque sound and brings a new life to Arcade Fire.
The title track, “Reflektor,” has an oddly danceable beat to it, displaying disco-like synths. The lyrics are fairly catchy as well. Besides Régine Chassagne’s French (“Entre la nuit, la nuit et l’aurore / entre le royaume des vivants es des morts”), “Reflektor” is easy to sing along to: (“I thought I found a way to enter/ It’s just a Reflektor /I thought I found the connector/ It’s just a Reflektor”)
The themes of “Reflektor” are not as uplifting as the song’s rhythm depicts. “Reflektor” is all about to find a way to escape the light screens that have trapped him. The technology is only a reflection.
The 86 minute double album gives the Grammy Award-winning band a chance to stretch. With 14 tracks, including a hidden bonus track, Reflektor is quite long, but the album still feels like it is bursting at the seams. Arcade Fire utilizes every single minute of Reflektor. Disc one is in your face, filled with fun, groovy rhythms. Disc two is much calmer. The dance tracks are still present for disc two, but there is more of an emotional heart to the songs on the second disc.
“Afterlife” is the shining track on Reflektor. It’s a magnificent song that celebrates both life and post-life. “Afterlife” truly defines Reflektor. After The Suburbs, the band is now in their post-life.
Reflektor is the boldest album to date from the Montreal-based group. Many of the songs on Reflektor push six minutes and there is a large emphasis on Greek mythology and Haitian culture. Reflektor may seem messy at first, but it is merely Arcade Fire settling into their lovely new sound.
You can hear Arcade Fire on Sound Waves from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. on WFIT 89.5 fm.