Arcade Fire are the best band in the world right now, lyrically, creatively and technically. Their live shows are a wonder to behold, all-encompassing and as close to a religious experience you’ll get at a gig.
In a pretty disappointing year in terms of music, Arcade Fire’s fourth album, Reflektor, is two discs worth of epic.
Where others have failed, Arcade Fire have successfully re-invented themselves, breaking free from the confines of what you’d expect from them, all the while maintaining the essence of what makes them so great.
Reflektor also benefits from the pristine production by former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy who helps make this the best sounding record in the bands catalogue.
Disc one begins with title track Reflektor, seven and a half minutes of dance floor filling sexiness which to top it all off has a fleeting appearance from David Bowie.
We Exist comes next, a slightly dark track which has a paranoid Win Butler singing “maybe it’s true, their staring at you when you walk in the room. Tell them it’s fine, stare if you like, just let us through” amongst the na na na na na’s complimented by an excellent groove.
Contrasted with that is Here Comes the Night Time, an upbeat, holiday song filled with piano and xylophone which builds to an explosion of noise in its final few moments.
My favourite track on disc one though has to be Normal Person. No tricks, just a straight up ferocious rock song done the way only Arcade Fire can do it. It’s up there with one of my favourite Arcade Fire songs ever.
While disc one feels like the party, disc two feels like the hangover and has a more chilled out ambiance to the point where it could have probably put me to sleep for all the right reasons.
It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus), Porno and specifically closing track, Supersymentry are all electronic slow burners, different to anything Arcade Fire have ever done before. And it works.
Awful Sound (On Eurydice) and Afterlife stand out from the above however, with uplifting choruses and hooks, all the whole remaining within the overall sound of the disc.
Overall, Reflektor as a double album is the most impressive piece of music I’ve heard all year.
Does it reach the heights of the bands previous effort, The Suburbs? It’s too early to tell but with spine tinglingly good song after song, Reflektor is a strong effort from Arcade Fire, the best band in the world right now.