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This is a hard one. I’ve been a sort of-fan of Arcade Fire for a while; ‘The Suburbs’ is up there in my list of favorite albums and Haiti is the first song I learned to play on guitar (well, the intro, anyways.) But my favorite thing about Arcade Fire is how all their albums are concept albums- that is, they all have a central theme, especially lyrically. Unfortunately, I don’t really get that from Reflektor. It just doesn’t feel as true as their previous work, and it’s definitely more kitschy.

Not that Reflektor is a bad album. It’s a little bit indulgent, and it’s overproduced, but Win Butler still knows how to pump out a good song. “You Already Know” is definitely the most fun song on the album with its funky bassline and rock-star intro (ARCADE FIYAH!), and it’s fun to listen to as well. And “Porno”, despite its title, is compelling and emotional. I also really like the title track, a sprawling disco-influenced gem just asking for a club remix.

Speaking of production, it’s obvious that James Murphy and was in charge. The LCD Soundsytem influence is very strong, especially on electronic-washed songs “We Exist” and “It’s Never Over.” These songs aren’t bad, but I miss the multi-instrumental glory of Arcade Fire’s older albums.

But he thing that suprised me most about the album was the amount of sheer filler. “Here Comes The Night Time” drags on and on, and “Afterlife” contributes absoltely nothing. I was dissappointed the most by this, mostly because I know Arcade Fire have the talent to produce much more meaningful tracks.

Overall, it’s a decent album. Not terrible, but not as fantastic as I anticipated. ‘Reflektor’ might not be making my best of the year list, but if Arcade Fire have to have an identity crisis, this is a pretty good one.

3/5 stars



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