Arcade Fire – Reflektor
It’s been three years since Canadian indie favorites released their unlikely album of the year, The Suburbs. Arcade Fire is back once more with their new album, Reflektor, but will the new entry in their discography be overshadowed by their album of the year success?
Reflektor brings the best of Arcade Fire, from excellent song writing by Win Butler to profound themes, and mixed with a unique positive energy akin to 80’s French disco. This is primarily apparent in the title track “Reflektor,” where Win and Régine’s calming harmonies are slowly mixed with driving dance floor rhythms that make you want to get out of your seat. Reflektor emanates these feel good, playful vibes while tackling questions of personal identity and society. A man struggles to understand why the world treats him and his male like they are invisible in “We Exist.” Win delves into what makes a person “normal” and if it is actually good to be “normal” in the playful “Normal Person.” These songs reveal the deepness and intricacy of the themes tackled in Reflektor.
What truly makes Reflektor stand out is it’s beautiful irony. Serious questions of love are weaved together with uplifting melodies and harmonies in “You Already Know.” The most beautiful contradiction comes in the form of the carnival atmosphere of “Here Comes The Night Time” and the melancholy chord progressions of the second half of the album’s “Here Comes The Night Time II.” It’s at this point where one thinks the second half of Reflektor is going to mellow out as the soothingly beautiful instrumentation of “Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)” rolls in. The energy is instantly brought back though through the unique, upbeat rhythm of “It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus)” and doesn’t stop until the album’s end. It’s these ironies that paint the beautiful picture that is known as Reflektor. The only contradiction that harms the album is the inclusion of rock heavy “Normal Person” amongst the carefree dance atmosphere.
In just three years time, Arcade Fire has accomplished to evolve their unique sound to a whole new level and perfect their contemplative storytelling. All the hype surrounding Reflektor gave fans a good reason to worry about a comedown. We can all breathe a sigh of release as Arcade Fire has refused to release nothing short of quality music. When award season comes around, don’t be surprised if Arcade Fire comes out on top once again with another album of the year victory.