Reflektor - Arcade Fire
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 438 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 438

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  1. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    The best summary of modern music in two quite different discs. Various feelings is going to rip you apart while you consume this masterpiece. Hint: listen it at least 3 times before judging
  2. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    100% ★★★★★

    We've all been patiently waiting for "Reflektor." We've dealt with the cryptic marketing, the short video clips and the secret shows. The question is, did "Reflektor" measure up to the hype? It did. The album starts out with the fantastic 7 minute long title track "Reflektor" which we all know features a guest
    vocal spot from David Bowie. The track is synth heavy, and this
    is the first
    of many songs where you will notice an influence from James Murphy.
    7 minutes don't seem to be enough, as Reflektor ends and leads to "We Exist."

    In "We Exist," the track opens up with a slashing guitar, and a bass line that rivals up to the greatest Michael Jackson songs. Harmonies from Win and Regine are in nearly every track, so if you are a fan of harmonies, this is a good album from you. Sometimes their vocals cross over one another, but it's still easy to follow and you will quickly find yourself singing and dancing along, just likeprevious Arcade Fire albums, but Reflektor is different because it really IS dancy.

    "Flashbulb Eyes" is next, and it serves as a really great warm up track to
    "Here Comes The Night Time.""Here Comes The Night Time" is a 6 1/2 minute track that is boarder line reggae. I honestly never thought Arcade Fire would go in this direction, but I'm glad they did, I think this will be a great live album.
    Next is "Normal Person," which, in my opinion is one of the real standout tracks on this great record. It's like any great David Bowie track, full of glam ,and you really can't help but sing along.

    Disc one comes to a close with Joan of Arc, a great post punk masterpiece. The track is driven by dark guitar, a simple drum beat, and a swooning background vocal from Regine. I've never heard anything like it.

    Disc two opens up with "Here Comes The Night Time II" which is extremely different from the first part. This track is probably the most "classic" Arcade Fire got on Reflektor. The violins combined with Win Butler's slightly reverbed vocals are heavenly. It reminds me a lot of the closing track from "The Suburbs." The whole album is fantastic, but the second disc is where the real magic is. Every track on the second half is dark, and almost completely different from the first disc. After listening, you'll understand why they decided to split it up.

    "Awful Sound" is just amazing. It sounds like it's straight off of a Beatles record, but with that touch of sound that unmistakeably lets you know it's an Arcade Fire song. The drum fill and the harmonies are fantastic, and really took me by surprise. My personal favorite track on "Reflektor" is next, "It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)." The track is really dark, and features vocals from both Win and Regine harmonizing with one another, to a drum beat that cuts right through you. "It's Never Over" is really intense. This song is what perfection sounds like. A modern masterpiece.

    "Reflektor" comes to an end with the 11 minute "Supersymmetry." A synth heavy song that will leave you feeling emotionally distraught and wanting more. I would have to say, I think this is Arcade Fire's best record yet. This is their version of "Kid A." Years from now, people will still be talking about this album, and you will hear it in other bands, whom were inspired by how genuinely different and groundbreaking it is. This is why we love Arcade Fire. Sometimes they play it safe, and sometimes they step outside of the box, and no matter what, it always ends up great, because their attention to detail is completely unrivaled. Arcade Fire are 4 for 4. Not many bands can do that. They are on a path of continued success, and will be the greats of our era.
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  3. Oct 29, 2013
    9
    Seems like some critics were really in hurry to knock this one down...could live without tape rewinding but otherwise this is a great album,especially slower and sublime disc 2.
  4. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    Absolutely phenomenal album. The early reviews got it wrong. Any double album this ambitious and this different needs to be experienced at least twice. It's wild, exhilirating change in the same vein as Achtung Baby and maybe even Kid A (time will tell). Fav tracks: Reflektor, Here Comes the Night Time, Afterlife.
  5. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    I first had a taste of Arcade Fire when my brother was playing their debut album "Funeral" in his car. I had no idea who they were, but I liked their sound. I finally found out it was Arcade Fire and I immediately bought my own copy. It turned out that the song "Wake Up" was also getting commercial exposure in movie trailers and Super Bowl ads during that time too. The album was a masterpiece as a whole. I found out that the band was comprised of many musicians and I loved it. Then I checked out their second album "Neon Bible" and it was more of the amazing baroque indie sound but much darker. Though the album is my least favorite of theirs, I still love it to death. Finally, "The Suburbs" was released and it was their first number one album. It was also just as good, if not much better than "Funeral". Beautiful music. It won Album of The Year at the Grammys and I was so happy for them while most people were confused at who they were. They really deserved the win. Now, 3 years later they release viral videos and graffiti ads promoting a new album. Then they released the music video for the lead single and title track of the album "Reflektor" featuring David Bowie. It was a different sound, but a very great song. I think Ive listened to the song at least 10 times a day until they released yet another lyric/music video of the song "Afterlife". It was in my opinion even better than "Reflektor" and the video was just perfect. I just couldn't wait for the new album. Well it has finally arrived and I could not be happier. I thought they wouldn't be able to top their last album, but I think they might have with this epic double disc set. Here is a track by track review.

    Disc 1:
    1. Reflektor: The beginning tribal drums remind me of The Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil" a bit. Then the song turns into an indie rock disco track. Many immediately compared the sound to LCD Soundsystem, who's frontman produced the album. At first I didn't think the chorus was great, but then as it was repeated more and more it became so infectious. The way Regines and Wins vocals intertwine is magical. Regine also sings some verses in French beautifully. David Bowie gives a haunting guest vocal. Favorite lyric is "Thought you were praying to the resurrector, turns out it was just a reflektor". Great song to start off this great album with. 10/10
    2. We Exist: The song immediately starts with a bass similar to "Billie Jean" with some sexy "na na nas". The vocals are so smooth. This is probably Arcade Fires most groovy song. It was first played live on Saturday Night Live, but I'm glad I can finally hear the studio version. 3 minutes into the song the synths take over a bit and the vocals become more calm. The last 3 minutes of the song get even better. The songs bass will definitely get you moving. 10/10
    3. Flashbulb Eyes: At first I thought I wasn't going to like the song because of its short length. But I'm glad I was proven wrong. This is a groovy trippy song. The instrumentation of this song is amazing. I can see this playing at a parade in a forest at night in Haiti. I wish the song was at least a minute longer though. It does lead into the next song rather smoothly. 9.5/10
    4. Here Comes The Night Time: Another song that was played on Saturday Night Live well, but I'm glad to hear the album version finally! The song starts out quick before slowing down into a groovy dance beat similar to The Killers song "Believe Me Natalie" just slightly. The synths really give this an 80s feel at times. Nearly 2 minutes into the song it turns into a slightly different sound with playful keyboards. 4 and a half minutes into the song things pick up pace in beautiful fashion similar to in Funerals "Wake Up". This change in pace makes you feel like youre in the middle of a celebration in Haiti with Arcade Fire at "night time". See what I did there? The last minute of the song is a perfect sing along to end the song with! 10/10
    5. Normal Person: This song is like a rocking sister song to "Modern Man". This is definitely Arcade Fires most rock n roll sounding song. There is a perfect guitar riff that permeates the song throughout. It is destined to become a classic guitar riff that will be covered over and over again! This is going to be a great concert song to get the crowd hyped. Regine also has a haunting vocal part during the bridge. The ending has a really quick fast guitar part that I kind wish was used more! 10/10
    6. You Already Know: This hand clapper of a song is really feelgood. This song took me a few listens to get into, but its worth it. It really gets better with repetition. The chorus sounds the best toward the end of the song with Regines backing vocals! Great song about seizing the moment! 9.5/10
    7. Joan of Arc: The song starts out with a punk rocker spirit. Then it turns into an anthemic song for the road. The drums have that "We Will Rock You" spirit just a bit. Regine showcases more of her French vocals, but not as good as in the title track, but still good! The chorus seriously gets better every time I hear it! This song might become a grower for most though. There are some nice guitar moments sprinkled throughout the song, especially toward the end. The song ends abruptly with silence to end the track. Great way to end dico 1 of this masterpiece. 9.5/10

    Disc 2:
    1. Here Comes the Night Time part 2: The silence from disc 1 leads into this sequel to the previous song of the same title. This calm electronic song is very relaxing, especially toward its end. Great calming start to the second disc. 9/10
    2. Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice): The song starts out with the tribal drums before a sexy Bass starts up. There is an apocalyptic sound to the beginning, but 2 minutes into the song it starts to sound more uplifting and beautiful. There is something very emotional about Wins vocals, especially considering the Greek story of Orpheus this and most of the album is inspired by. 3 minutes into the song it gets even more beautiful with added backing vocals from Regine! This is a very experimental epic and beautiful song. This will sound great live. 10/10
    3. Its Never Over (Oh Orpheus): This song is more dance-y after the heartwrenching previous song. This might instantly be one of my favorite tracks of all time. The guitars and dance beat are just infectious! Regine is more prominent in this song and she does more of her French vocals. The chants of "Hey Orpheus" are typical Arcade Fire and remind me of "Neighborhood 2" just a bit. There are nice horns in there too! Near 4 minutes into the song Win and Regine compliment each other vocally so perfectly! The final minute of the song is very very chill. Probably the best progressive indie rock songs ever. 10/10
    4. Porno: This finger snapping song is very synthbased in a great way. As many of said, this one sounds like it could've been used in the Drive movie soundtrack. This is a really really sexy song. The sexiest song from the band. I mean the title already hinted at that though. Win gives some of his best vocal performances too. Honestly this one sounds like it was produced by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. That is a compliment! Great different song for the band. One of the best as well. 10/10
    5. Afterlife: This is my new favorite song from the band. The dance beat and the U2 Achtung-Baby-esque guitars are amazing and catchy. The music video works so well too using clips from the classic movie "Black Orpheo", which I now need to see! The subject of this song is touchy and very emotional. The chorus is one of the best from the band. If I was in charge, this would be the next song of the year at the Grammys! I don't know what else to say. Just perfect and timeless. 11/10
    6. Supersymmetry: The title sounds like something "Muse" would do. I had two feelings when I saw the 11 minute length of the song. I was excited for epicness, and I was also hesitant at having to sit back at a possibly boring track. Luckily, this track is far from boring. In fact, its one of the more exciting songs from the band. Very beautiful vocals from both Win and Regine symmetrically. The song is very relaxing at the start with some 80s synths. The U2 inspired sound is also present. 3 minutes into the track it starts to pick up the beat and get more anthemic and gorgeous! The vocals also come to a halt turning the song into an instrumental the rest of the way. At first this might sound off putting considering the length of the song, but I promise you this is one of the best. Halfway in it seems to fade out, before slowly fading back in again. It takes a while but the song ends with the last 4 minutes or so being a spacey sound. It is said this is a hidden track, but I don't hear a real track. I just hear ambient spacey noises. I honestly wish they wouldn't have wasted all that time, but some will think its really artistic while many will call it annoying and pretentious to end the album this way. I think the first 5 minutes make up for the last part of the song. I do think if there were a movie based on the album that the spacey ending would fit well, but not for casual listeners. 10/10 strictly for the first part of the song.

    So I may sound biased since I gave most of the songs on the album a perfect score, but I'm confident that this is one of the best albums released in the past 10 years. Some are saying this is Arcade Fires "OK Computer"/"Kid A". I somewhat agree. I might get a lot of disagreements for what I'm about to say, but I think this was much better than both of those Radiohead albums that seem to be brought up whenever an artist experiments nowadays. This is Arcade Fires "REFLEKTOR". This album has so many textures and layers that one will discover with each repeated listen. I already keep discovering new things in the songs I didn't hear before. As many have stated, the album does have a more dance-y feel to it. It works really well though. If there was any doubt that Arcade could surpass their "Suburbs" or "Funeral" album, this is the answer. This album is almost too good. This really is epic. At over 70 minutes long, you really have to get settled in to really enjoy the album, but its worth it. I won't be surprised if this album sweeps the next Grammy award season. This will be analyzed by critics for years as one of the milestone albums of the 2010s decade of music. Do yourself a favor and get this album if you like good music.
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  6. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    This is a breathtaking album One of the best of this decade .This is Arcade Fire's Achtung Baby. Can't undersatnd some silly reviews.Great songs great production .Sound of the future and another direction for this amazing group .Probably they will disappoint some old friends who want all the groups stucked in a specific sound and not follow other ways of expression
  7. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    One of the best albums ever. Not an exaggeration either. I couldn't tell you the top two songs on this thing because I would have to name like 10 songs. Brilliant.
  8. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    In terms of their direction, it is a push towards the unexpected that keeps us coming back for more. The "Ticket-to-Ride" tempo changes, metaphysical lyrics, and the fluorescent instrumentation makes this 76-minute epic a contender for one of the best albums since The Bends.
  9. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    This is the best Arcade Fire record and the album of the year. It requires a few listens, but it showcases some of the best songwriting out there in the indie world. This is just a monster of a double album, and there's no bad tracks. Highlights are Clash-esque "Normal Person", the disco hit title-track and the heavenly duo "Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)" and "It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)" (the latter is pernsonally my best track of 2013). This is an underrated effort that diserves nothing less than a full hundred. Thanks, Win Butler. Expand
  10. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    It may lack the emotion of previous albums, but Arcade Fire did what they do best, and that's great music. I really can't understand why some critics write some reviews after just one listen.
  11. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    Whoah this is great modern music All kinds of rock music are found here .Every song has something different to say and that's Arcade Fire's achievement to create a documentary of different styles and various moods in the shape of good songs The songs i loved the most are Here comes the night time [with its playful piano parts and calypso breeze Normal Person with its Elvis meets White Stripes feeling of course the incredible title track [a noir disco megasound which grows in a majestic tempo] and It's never over [a dark funky Tv on the radio meets David Bowie Berlin era sound]. Gorgeous album from a vivid group Expand
  12. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    Brilliant. Upon first listen, way more enjoyable than The Suburbs in my opinion. Once again, Arcade Fire burns down all barriers and limitations, executing to perfection the subtle twists and turns of styles, sounds, structures, and worldly influences. A perfect example of how the once-"super emo" band not only continues to evolve later in its life, but also flourish into unexplored territory and excel at it. They've managed to carry their contemplative moods into a brand new sound and feel, previously a depressing aura (and rightly so, considering Funeral's background), into a hopeful and energetic experience. Expand
  13. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    Sounds very fresh to me this record .Arcade Fire have never been my favourite but their new work surprised me pleasently Highlights Reflektor We exist Awful sound Afterlife and You already know
  14. Oct 29, 2013
    9
    Completely lives up to the hype. A necessary departure for one of the most amazing bands of our time. Love Regine's Haitian influence on this album, especially on Here Comes the Night Time.
  15. Oct 29, 2013
    9
    They took chances on this album, they didn't want to remain stale, and the succeed an everything they set out to do, I believe. This album is amazing. Can't wait to see them live again and see how these songs carry through an arena.
  16. Oct 29, 2013
    9
    I talked to one of the early critics who reviewed the album (I believe it was the one for Drowned in Sound). He said that he only got one listen of it at a listening party. Apparently it is industry standard for those who want to get a review out before everyone else to cram it out after a single listen. But I believe it's impossible to judge long form art, especially an album like this in a single listen. In fact, on my first listen, I thought the bass was muddy and not quite as effective as it could be. But further listens helped me fortify my understanding of the album and I got used to what I originally objected to. Regardless, i now thing this is a solid, well executed album. It may not be Funeral, but it is essential Arcade Fire. Expand
  17. Oct 30, 2013
    10
    Arcade fire has hit oil with the new album.I would give it 100 out of 100 if i could because it just is that good.Who ever dose not like it is just an stupid snob.
  18. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    After three listens, this has become my favorite Arcade Fire album. It has everything I have come to love about them: intelligent lyrics, sweeping anthems, and purely awesome rock. However, it is also a slightly different direction for them, which makes it feel fresh and unique. Part One flies by with classic fast-paced rock, while Part Two slows it down a bit with more experimental and electronic rhythms. The two compliment each other perfectly and give the album great pacing. This is brilliant music that you should experience. Just like all of their other albums, there is not one song worth skipping. If you are not feeling it the first time, give it another listen or two and let it grow on you because it most likely will. The first time may be an overwhelming rush but the additional listens will allow you to really take this masterpiece in. This is in my opinion their best work yet. Expand
  19. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    Hey folks So another Arcade Fire album I was a bit angry when i first heard the Reflektor single It was very different from what i had in mind for AF sound. After some plays it became my favourite AF song The same happened with this album When you hear it for the first time leaves you somewhat dazzled but hey listen more carefully and you'll see that this is the Thing .The songs are constructed with a magical way and the production' s great especially on the second half .I really really love "It's never over" [probably their best song ever and "We exist" [anthemic and catchy].So i give this 10 because it's really superb Expand
  20. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    Fantastic. Some of the best material they have produced and clearly not made to rehash ground they have already covered. The highs are incredibly high, and even the parts that don't work as well are to be respected for their creativity.
  21. Oct 30, 2013
    10
    Great album. I especially love the songs Normal Person, Porno, Reflektor, We Exist and It's Never Over (Hey Orpheus). It has a collection of different sounds, yet familiar. Among the year's best for me.
  22. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    I you claim to be a Music lover, this is the kind of music you should be listening.
    Its a wonderful experience from start to end, its emotional, exiting, its a dream come true, The Great Arcade Fire did it again, and perfectly.
  23. Nov 3, 2013
    9
    Like everything they've done before, another tour de force from an amazing band. Like others have said, needs multiple listens before you fall head over heels. Incredible stuff.
  24. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    Just more fabulous music from the fantastic... ARCADE FIRE!!! As Jonathan Ross puts it. This record was something I was awaiting for a long time! The wait was worth it! This is their best album right here!
  25. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    Ok it has happened this past week. Arcade Fire have nudged Radiohead out as my favorite band. The real amazing thing is that these songs sound so natural for Arcade Fire even though it is such a musical departure from their previous material. They are making the most important musicin the world right now and Radiohead will have to up their game after KOL to keep up. Arcade Fire can do no wrong. Expand
  26. Nov 9, 2013
    10
    There have been many reviews of Reflektor that rate the album as off-the-charts incredible. There have been other reviews which say it's Arcade Fire's worst. After the first few spins, I completely concurred with the negative reviews. I was wondering how Arcade Fire could have slipped so much and was ready to give up, but I thought to myself how could such a mediocre album be getting so many amazing reviews. So I decided to keep at it and gave it a few more spins. Then it started clicking. Reflektor really is an amazing album and ever bit as great (if not greater) than Arcade Fire's first 3 albums. I don't think there has ever been a band whose first 4 albums are each arguably the best album released in the respective years each was released. My advice to anyone not liking this album is to just not give up. It rewards repeated listens to a greater degree than any album I've ever heard. Expand
  27. Nov 4, 2013
    10
    I cannot stress enough the need to listen to this album multiple times. I am a massive AF fan, the first album still blows my mind...and on first listen I wasn't sold on this outing. Heard it now a dozen times and can't get the songs out of my head. Win and Regine make amazing music and on every album they make DIFFERENT music. Do yourself a favor and buy this and just let it soak in. Eventually you will find that special something in all but a few songs(flashbulb eyes, supersymmetry) that clicks and shows how wonderful AF construct their music across the spectrum. 10/10. Expand
  28. Oct 30, 2013
    10
    I dare you not to dance. A fantastic blend of varied musical style. Each song contains fascinating progressions but retain a pop sensibility. This is good. This is really, really good.
  29. Nov 24, 2013
    9
    One of the more impressive 21st century rock albums, it's a shame certain critics shy away from the 2 hour runtime. Arcade Fire makes music for people that want to listen to music, a refreshing change from the 45-50 minute flash in the pan albums from most of today's mainstream contingency. Reflektor manages to present a new sound on each track while both staying true to the band's roots and presenting a new age sound. This is an album that experiments (albeit with success) and as a result moves ahead of its genre (see Yeezus). However, because there are always some reluctant to change it will no doubt attract mediocre press. Don't buy it. But the album instead. Expand
  30. Oct 31, 2013
    9
    So many good songs. Are these capable of making a bad song? They get spirit into their music. It is greatly needed. Another instant classic from an amazing band.
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").