• Record Label: Merge
  • Release Date: Oct 29, 2013
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 465 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 465

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  1. Dec 5, 2013
    6
    Arcade Fire's albums always get high praise, and often for good reason. Although it is hard to shake the feeling that they get far more praise from critics because they fit that niche 'hipster indie' style, and because critics are suckers for anything that tries to be original (even if incomprehensibly so). Reflektor is a solid effort, with Disc 1 having some catchy funk and upbeatArcade Fire's albums always get high praise, and often for good reason. Although it is hard to shake the feeling that they get far more praise from critics because they fit that niche 'hipster indie' style, and because critics are suckers for anything that tries to be original (even if incomprehensibly so). Reflektor is a solid effort, with Disc 1 having some catchy funk and upbeat electronics and Disc 2 embodying something a bit mellower and stranger. However, which perhaps the exception of the album opener and 1st single, Reflektor, it doesn't have the accessibility of some of there music, and it doesn't really contain any tracks that really impress you. The style and production is well executed and a jump from previous endeavors, but it is a jump made in a tame way. If Arcade Fire really wanted to embody the spirit of disco, they could have pushed a bit harder. Expand
  2. Oct 31, 2013
    6
    This album disappointed me. The first two tracks are excellent, and a few other tracks ("It's Never Over", "Here Comes the Night TIme") are good, but there are multiple songs on this record that are quite awful by Arcade Fire's previously lofty standards, and even the good songs are weighed down by Win Butler's pretentious, creatively bankrupt lyrics. It seems the Grammy really went toThis album disappointed me. The first two tracks are excellent, and a few other tracks ("It's Never Over", "Here Comes the Night TIme") are good, but there are multiple songs on this record that are quite awful by Arcade Fire's previously lofty standards, and even the good songs are weighed down by Win Butler's pretentious, creatively bankrupt lyrics. It seems the Grammy really went to their head. Huge success can destroy an artist's creativity if the artist is not psychologically prepared. Although this album is "sort of good" it is awful by the standards I use to judge a previously brilliant band like Arcade Fire. This is by far their worst album. It is uninspired. Their previous work was fueled by the angst and discontent of adolescent alienation, but now they are millionaires many times over, famous, and in their mid-thirties. The well from which they drew many great songs is now empty. They realized they needed to make a transitions, but the transition's result was mediocre at best, because they didn't put their hearts into it. And worse still they forgot how to edit themselves. They no longer have any interior locus of self-evaluation, because "Grammy-winning" Arcade Fire can do no wrong, and so it must be a good idea to bookend their bloated record with 15 minutes of useless reversed tape-loops and load the whole album up with campy sound effects, spoken word asides and even an excerpt of Jonathan Ross praising "the WONDERFUL Arcade Fire". In other words, they used to be brilliant, but their heads are so far up into their lower intestines now that they are blind to their own missteps. This album could have been vastly improved if the 5 weakest songs and the white noise had been cut out, leaving a focused 46 minute album. It still would have been their worst record, but it would have been worse by a much smaller margin had they shown some discipline. Expand
  3. Nov 4, 2013
    6
    I literally cringed when I read Rolling Stone's review calling Reflektor AF's best album. I made this account several years ago, and though it may imply bias, I go into every album open minded with 0 expectations. This is AF's weakest outing IMO. I believe the first disc to be rubbish. I didn't like the title track as a single and I don't like it as a piece of the album either. It's tooI literally cringed when I read Rolling Stone's review calling Reflektor AF's best album. I made this account several years ago, and though it may imply bias, I go into every album open minded with 0 expectations. This is AF's weakest outing IMO. I believe the first disc to be rubbish. I didn't like the title track as a single and I don't like it as a piece of the album either. It's too long while being too repitive. Long songs can be justified Vampire/Forest Fire is a great 7 minute AF track. The same can be said for a lot of the songs on Reflektor. Even Flashbulb Eyes, the shortest track on the whole LP, is too long! It could be under a minute long and would have been just as substantial. It's the new worst AF track ever for me. There's inherently wrong with deviation from past works or experimenting. But I felt like I was listening to Dewey Cox the album. What I mean by that is that it seams AF tried to hit every genre with this thing punk, pop, reggae, disco, rock, etc. Thank god they didn't try dubstep. The second disc salvages the rating. Every song is something I wouldn't mind listening to again. I've given Reflektor as a whole three listens in total. In the future I'll probably mostly just play the 2nd CD. The 1st disc I give a 4/10, the second a 8/10. This averages out to my 6/10 score. Expand
  4. Nov 5, 2013
    5
    Ultimately, Reflektor represents nothing more than a watered down repeat of Arcade Fire's canon. Tracks like We Exist and Normal Person are weak and tasteless, cacophonous and mindless. While others, such as Flashbulb Eyes are nothing more than the dregs of the refreshing and novel works of their past (Neon Bible). There are some tolerable songs, which save the album from being completelyUltimately, Reflektor represents nothing more than a watered down repeat of Arcade Fire's canon. Tracks like We Exist and Normal Person are weak and tasteless, cacophonous and mindless. While others, such as Flashbulb Eyes are nothing more than the dregs of the refreshing and novel works of their past (Neon Bible). There are some tolerable songs, which save the album from being completely worthless: Porno and Afterlife are both full bodied and mindful slow burners that ring true of Arcade Fire.

    5/10.
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  5. Nov 2, 2013
    4
    Falling short (ironic since most tracks are too long) of the 3 previous albums. It definitely doesn't measure up to all the hype and viral promotions.
  6. Oct 30, 2013
    5
    Tom Hawking's analysis at Flavorwire really sums it up for me. He uses the song "In the Backseat to illustrate his point and I entirely agree with him. It's one of my favorite Arcade Fire tracks. I lost my dad when I was younger and that song speaks to me in a simple, direct, and emotionally resonant way. It has some bombast and orchestral flourish but it's restrained and in service to theTom Hawking's analysis at Flavorwire really sums it up for me. He uses the song "In the Backseat to illustrate his point and I entirely agree with him. It's one of my favorite Arcade Fire tracks. I lost my dad when I was younger and that song speaks to me in a simple, direct, and emotionally resonant way. It has some bombast and orchestral flourish but it's restrained and in service to the emotional weight of the song. Most importantly, the sentiment and the performance feel genuine and powerful. While I actually like a lot of sounds on this album (the various saxophone attacks, for instance, are a welcome addition), there just isn't the emotional resonance of their best moments. Favorite track: "Afterlife" Expand
  7. Oct 30, 2013
    5
    Warning: This album is disco! Love the bands previous work, but this album is horrible! It spends half the time just screwing around with random noises, and the other half studiously avoiding melody.
  8. Oct 30, 2013
    6
    I miss the days when Win Butler actually had something insightful to say about life, society, and modern alienation. Here, the "profound" lyrics and themes that AF have always been so great at communicating are cliche and uninspired and totally uninsightful. "Normal Person" and "Flashbulb Eyes" and "We Exist" are as unoriginal and depressing as songwriting about fame and isolation gets.I miss the days when Win Butler actually had something insightful to say about life, society, and modern alienation. Here, the "profound" lyrics and themes that AF have always been so great at communicating are cliche and uninspired and totally uninsightful. "Normal Person" and "Flashbulb Eyes" and "We Exist" are as unoriginal and depressing as songwriting about fame and isolation gets. Nothing here but some interesting dance influences suggests the band moving forward toward anything meaningful, and it's all overblown and dragged out for no apparent reason. Expand
  9. Nov 14, 2013
    4
    I am a fan of almost everything that AF have done. There were a few lesser tunes that never really stuck with me but for the most part each of their albums were solid from front to back so that one could just pop it in and let it spin without needing to skip any tracks.
    Unfortunately this trend, I feel, had ended. Certainly there are some good tracks here, and when the single was
    I am a fan of almost everything that AF have done. There were a few lesser tunes that never really stuck with me but for the most part each of their albums were solid from front to back so that one could just pop it in and let it spin without needing to skip any tracks.
    Unfortunately this trend, I feel, had ended. Certainly there are some good tracks here, and when the single was released 6 weeks prior to the full CD my excitement level increased because I really liked it, listening to it many times. The first track has everything that I loved about AF, interesting sounds, dramatic moments, subtler sections. One thing that did worry me was the track's length, at 7+ minutes even after the first spin I found it at least 1-1/2 to 2 minutes too long as it just seems to repeat and meander, stumbling to the finish line.
    This is the core problem with the full-length. Many songs simply overstay their welcome, well after finishing their thoughts/themes, and just seem to aimlessly linger. Also, I personally found that several of the tracks really didn't move one way or the other, not that they were bad, they were just there, kind of soulless. This album, for me, is just too over-indulgent, like they had all this new-found money and tools at their disposal and no-one there to rein them in a little, to show them that in most cases less is more. Unfortunately they have committed the biggest sin for me as a music lover, and that is indifference. I would rather love it or hate it, but when I find myself not really feeling anything about it, that's worse. All the ingredients are there: the voices, the sounds and the production (which I find muddy on many tracks, like over-produced, or mastered too high is it just me?) but for me there is a huge lack of cohesion, soul, and self-editing. I find myself skipping over many tracks, and really not going back to the CD often for a re-listen. Every band has mis-steps in there discography, and hopefully that is all this is, because I know what they are capable of, and this really misses the mark.
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  10. Nov 7, 2013
    4
    Huge letdown by one of my favorite bands. The first side is a bad try at disco pop via self examining lyrics, second side is just overlong and repetitive to the point of exhaustion. If you really listen tot his album, all the way through, there is no way you will not be bored. From most bands this is normal but i expected more out of Arcade Fire. They made Funeral, easily one of the bestHuge letdown by one of my favorite bands. The first side is a bad try at disco pop via self examining lyrics, second side is just overlong and repetitive to the point of exhaustion. If you really listen tot his album, all the way through, there is no way you will not be bored. From most bands this is normal but i expected more out of Arcade Fire. They made Funeral, easily one of the best debut albums of all time, and Neon Bible and Suburbs were also great and challenging in their own way. They seem to do a lot better when the albums are SHORTER. Not Longer. Longer=bad. Maybe the next album will see them out of this slump. Only songs I thought were great were "Flashbulb Eyes" and "It's Never Over" Expand
  11. Nov 11, 2013
    4
    Unluckily Arcade Fire seemed to have focused on a form rather than on a substance. I'm not saying that the first is bad, I'm saying that the latter is lacking. I miss catchy and though nontrivial songs they used to develop with *childish* ease.
  12. May 27, 2014
    6
    While Reflektor may be their most ambitious work yet, Arcade Fire seem to have a lost a little something since The Suburbs. Throughout Reflektor, they seem to be grasping for too many genres and themes (love, the Internet age, death, sexual identity), and as a result the album doesn't quite come together as a cohesive whole. With Funeral and the Suburbs, they stayed focused on specificWhile Reflektor may be their most ambitious work yet, Arcade Fire seem to have a lost a little something since The Suburbs. Throughout Reflektor, they seem to be grasping for too many genres and themes (love, the Internet age, death, sexual identity), and as a result the album doesn't quite come together as a cohesive whole. With Funeral and the Suburbs, they stayed focused on specific themes and carefully expanded upon them, and those albums benefited greatly from that.

    On the bright side, there are standout moments within Reflektor where they absolutely nail it (Reflektor, Afterlife, and a few others). But there is definitely quite a bit of filler here in comparison to their past works.
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  13. Nov 12, 2013
    6
    After reading endless hype about this album, I decided to give it a try. Does it completely live up to all the pre-release press? Not really. It's not bad by any means, but I was not blown away either. The title track and Joan of Arc are amazing songs. I gave it multiple listeners and it did grow on me, but it was a very slow process.
  14. Oct 24, 2014
    5
    i would much like to know how many times did you hear this album compared with the previous ones, is not a bad album, is Arcade Fire so it cant be bad but i can only grasp 3 songs to keep it on play-list along with almost every song of past albums.
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
  1. Dec 18, 2013
    90
    The double-disc, dual volume album that results is one that finds the Canadian seven-piece sounding liberated, from stylistic and budgetary constraints both. [No. 105, p.52]
  2. Dec 16, 2013
    80
    As it stands, Reflektor is Arcade Fire’s most diverse and sonically interesting work to date.
  3. Nov 21, 2013
    67
    As a whole, there are throwaway tracks ("Porno") and overstayed welcomes (ambiguous anthem "We Exist"), Butler playing roulette with themes: the pains of indie rock ("Normal Person"), star-crossed Greek mythology ("Awful Sound [Oh Eurydice]," "It's Never Over [Oh Orpheus]"), and existential despair ("Afterlife").