Arcade Fire are ready to follow up The Suburbs, their last album that pulled off the shocking Album Of The Year win at the Grammys. It wasn’t shocking because it didn’t deserve to win. It was shocking that the Grammys could be so cool. The Montreal band are by no means a mainstream artist. They are a band that creates dense, intricate rock music that doesn’t appeal to radio. Now they sit at an interesting place since they have a much higher profile after the Grammy win. Do they go with a more mainstream sound or rebel and go even weirder?
Well, with Reflektor, and it somehow manages to be both. The tracks have a more accessible rock sound that gets your foot tapping more than any other Arcade Fire album. The band seems to be having more fun than ever, but that’s not to say it’s an album that has any song that’s going to hit the top 40. The songs still have a schizophrenic structure so you’re never sure where they are going to go next, but songs like “Reflektor”, “Joan Of Arc”, “Porno”, and “Flashbulb Eyes” feature some of the best rock moments we’ve heard this year. There’s even moments (like on “Awful Sound”) where you’ll be reminded of The Beatles. Reflektor actually reminds me a lot of the Fab 4’s “A Day In The Life”, one of the most ambitious, sprawling songs that band ever recorded. Add in influences of David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, and The Cure, and you’ve got a superb collection of songs.
Arcade Fire loves to use everything in their arsenal to create a full experience across each song. While sometimes in their previous work that has proven to produce messy music, here, they’ve smartly started off with really well-written tracks that feature cohesive melodies and they’ve used them as a jumping off point to then become playful.
They make it sound far too easy creating one of the best albums of the year.
You can listen to the full album here: