Reflektor - Arcade Fire
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 448 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 448

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  1. Aug 27, 2014
    8
    Being an Arcade Fire album is never easy and ever since their debut expectations are always massive whenever this band do anything. Stylistic changes were hinted at during the making of "Reflektor" and while there is a noticeably more dancy feel to this album, this is mainly down to James Murphy's presence who really only provides a light cover over what is essentially an instantlyBeing an Arcade Fire album is never easy and ever since their debut expectations are always massive whenever this band do anything. Stylistic changes were hinted at during the making of "Reflektor" and while there is a noticeably more dancy feel to this album, this is mainly down to James Murphy's presence who really only provides a light cover over what is essentially an instantly recognisable Arcade Fire sound. "Reflektor" strikes a balance between experimentation and crowd pleasing and achieves pretty much everything that the band would have looked for from the record. One criticism I had of last album "The Suburbs" was that it was too long by 2 or 3 tracks but in reality the length of the record wasn't the problem it was that the quality dropped a little on a couple of the 16 tracks. "Reflektor" is similar in overall length and with 13 tracks overall has no weak track however I do think the band could have edited the album so that it would have easily fitted on one disk without any detriment to the listening experience. Overall, "Reflektor" is a triumph and stands up well next to Arcade Fire's back catalog. Expand
  2. Nov 25, 2013
    8
    Arcade Fire have come a pretty long ways at this point in their musical career. Three sprawling records in less than ten years, and now we have Reflektor, their 4th studio album. I was skeptical on first listen, but this is the perfect record to analyze and listen too multiple times before you make your final verdict. Reflektor might be Arcade Fire's least best record, but what aArcade Fire have come a pretty long ways at this point in their musical career. Three sprawling records in less than ten years, and now we have Reflektor, their 4th studio album. I was skeptical on first listen, but this is the perfect record to analyze and listen too multiple times before you make your final verdict. Reflektor might be Arcade Fire's least best record, but what a beautiful, curveball of a record it is. Opens up with "Reflekor", a brilliant track where immediately James Murphy's production style is sprinkled throughout this entire album. This LP is split between two CD's, the first one I found very rock influenced, whereas the second disk I found pretty brooding, very dark in lyrical content mainly.

    All In All, Reflektor is an album I really had to listen to more than a few times to make my mind up about. This record will divide Arcade Fire fans, especially if they aren't used to bands changing their sound and starting over on a creative difference. As for me, Arcade Fire has made a brilliant follow-up to The Suburbs. B+
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  3. Nov 4, 2013
    10
    I took "Uger's" advice and listened to this album more than once, and i'm glad i did. On the first hearing, i would have given this album an 8 or 9. But now, it deserves nothing less than a 10. I guess the more you listen, the more hidden gems in the tracks that you discover.

    James Murphy's influence is crystal clear in the title track as well as other ones. I was a fan of his since the
    I took "Uger's" advice and listened to this album more than once, and i'm glad i did. On the first hearing, i would have given this album an 8 or 9. But now, it deserves nothing less than a 10. I guess the more you listen, the more hidden gems in the tracks that you discover.

    James Murphy's influence is crystal clear in the title track as well as other ones. I was a fan of his since the glory days of LCD Soundsystem. Arcade's Fire collaboration with him resulted in a brilliant record that will go down as their best so far, one of the best of this decade and all decades.

    Some people call this album Arcade FIre's version of Radiohead's Kid A. I couldn't agree more. It's totally different from their previous output, The Suburbs. They could have just played it safe, and created more of the same, They could have gotten away with it too, especially since they had already achieved commercial success.

    But they didn't. They went and came back with something new and beautiful. It's why i deeply respect this marvelous band.
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  4. Nov 10, 2013
    8
    I like the spirit, ambition, lyrics and melodies of this album. It is something different from Arcade Fire's other albums and that's a good thing. That it was produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem fame was a smart move. He gives the thing an extra punch of movement where it needs it. However, I found a copy of Handsome Furs' 2009 album "Face Control" at the thrift store, and I put itI like the spirit, ambition, lyrics and melodies of this album. It is something different from Arcade Fire's other albums and that's a good thing. That it was produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem fame was a smart move. He gives the thing an extra punch of movement where it needs it. However, I found a copy of Handsome Furs' 2009 album "Face Control" at the thrift store, and I put it on right after listening to this new AF album and it sounded exactly the same!?! Left me scratching my head. However, this is a good new AF album, but I would have preferred that they put it all on one disc. There's no real vital reason really for this album to be a double LP, CD. Expand
  5. Apr 13, 2014
    10
    The thing I love the most about singers or bands is the feel and/or need of changing and evolving. That's what Arcade Fire did with this tremendous album: express things through other perspectives, other instruments, other rhythms. Take a risk may mean a fall-down; or a superb acclaim: and we all know how it turned out for these canadians! This band made everything so perfect andThe thing I love the most about singers or bands is the feel and/or need of changing and evolving. That's what Arcade Fire did with this tremendous album: express things through other perspectives, other instruments, other rhythms. Take a risk may mean a fall-down; or a superb acclaim: and we all know how it turned out for these canadians! This band made everything so perfect and peacefully harmonic, that the music just speaks for itself, and loving this double-original-album is (in my opinion) not a choice. Is an obligation. Expand
  6. Aug 27, 2014
    7
    lolololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololololo
  7. Jan 18, 2014
    8
    At first I really did not care for it but after listening to a few times, It's really grown on me. Reflektor features a lot of soon to be classic Arcade Fire songs such as Reflektor, Here Comes The Night Time, Awful Sound, It's Never Over, Porno, and Afterlife.

    Like Uger said, You will want to listen to it a few times before judging because on the first-second listen, I didn't care for
    At first I really did not care for it but after listening to a few times, It's really grown on me. Reflektor features a lot of soon to be classic Arcade Fire songs such as Reflektor, Here Comes The Night Time, Awful Sound, It's Never Over, Porno, and Afterlife.

    Like Uger said, You will want to listen to it a few times before judging because on the first-second listen, I didn't care for it. By the fifth, I loved it.
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  8. May 28, 2014
    7
    It quite lacks the depth that made the first three AF albums quite memorable and the music is changing here, but the change is good. AF is one of the best bands in the world. :))))))))))
  9. Dec 30, 2013
    10
    A sonic overload of everything Arcade Fire stands for, with some new electronics to boot, Reflektor is an album of incredibly deep meaning and tracks that reach as close to perfection as humanly possible. Personally, I find the way they have incorporated dance beats and the story of Orpheus into their typical message of isolation is such genius that comparison to their past albums does notA sonic overload of everything Arcade Fire stands for, with some new electronics to boot, Reflektor is an album of incredibly deep meaning and tracks that reach as close to perfection as humanly possible. Personally, I find the way they have incorporated dance beats and the story of Orpheus into their typical message of isolation is such genius that comparison to their past albums does not seem fair to those albums. The only weakness the album could possibly have is its length, but the ease at which the tracks travel makes even the eleven minute Supersymmetry seem to fly by at the pace of a song a third of its length. No doubt, even among the masterpieces that liter Arcade Fire's existence, this is the best thing they have ever done. Expand
  10. BKM
    Oct 30, 2013
    8
    It will probably take time for the dust to settle around Arcade Fire's newest release before its place in their catalog can be properly assessed. For now, it's a big, ambitious and entertaining rock record from one of the biggest and best bands in the world. The most surprising aspect of it all is that despite its lengthy running time and experimental flourishes, Reflektor never feelsIt will probably take time for the dust to settle around Arcade Fire's newest release before its place in their catalog can be properly assessed. For now, it's a big, ambitious and entertaining rock record from one of the biggest and best bands in the world. The most surprising aspect of it all is that despite its lengthy running time and experimental flourishes, Reflektor never feels dull or inaccessible. Expand
  11. Nov 16, 2013
    8
    This album is well articulated, thoughtful piece of art. Reflektor the single, was released months in advance and I loved the track and it's disco influence and I was already geared up for the album. The lyrical content is always important with Arcade Fire and I love what they talk about here and how they discuss it. My only critique would probably be the very end with supersymmetry. IThis album is well articulated, thoughtful piece of art. Reflektor the single, was released months in advance and I loved the track and it's disco influence and I was already geared up for the album. The lyrical content is always important with Arcade Fire and I love what they talk about here and how they discuss it. My only critique would probably be the very end with supersymmetry. I had saw that it was 11minutes and was excited to hear what they explore but the last 2 3 minutes was this annoying sound that just continued to a halt. And that was the ending of the album. Other than that, it was a great album with great songs. Expand
  12. Apr 15, 2014
    8
    Simply sounds like some kind of greatest hits compilation. Reflektor's title track is overly long, and waiting for it to finish will be a true achievement. But after that massive mistake, you won't regret staying the night for more Arcade Fire.
  13. Oct 29, 2013
    8
    In Reflektor Arcade Fire present a dark influence in their music the existentialism in all the phases, the reflective age, the future & the past, they innovate and create their own genre in all of the epic tracks This excellent compendium is an incredible change but they always have that inusual power for make amazing records changing their sound and never fails.
    In four albums this
    In Reflektor Arcade Fire present a dark influence in their music the existentialism in all the phases, the reflective age, the future & the past, they innovate and create their own genre in all of the epic tracks This excellent compendium is an incredible change but they always have that inusual power for make amazing records changing their sound and never fails.
    In four albums this band have created worlds, the world of death and alienation, the world of religion and paranoia, the world of suburbs and childhood, and now a world of 'The present age is one of understanding, of reflection, devoid of passion, an age which flies into enthusiasm for a moment only to decline back into indolence. Action and passion is as absent in the present age as peril is absent from swimming in shallow waters' the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard and Haitian rara music.
    The return of Arcade Fire is glorious and rich a great album that always be in our memory it's one of the best released in this amazing year. 8.5/10
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  14. Feb 15, 2014
    9
    http://bit.ly/NOJ7H1 Arcade Fire have easily, delivered one of the most ambitious and interesting records of the year. The songwriting and performance skills we have come to expect from the band are better than ever. While some of the songs running times are unnecessarily long it doesn't detract too much from this quality release from this quality band.
  15. Feb 21, 2014
    9
    I believe it's safe to say that Arcade Fire knocked everyone off their feet, for good or for bad, with "Reflektor." While some may describe it as dreamy and ethereal, I would go even further and describe the experience as being trapped in a dream, eternally twisting and turning in a unique ethos that is both distant and hauntingly internal. "Reflektor" radiates with artistic brillianceI believe it's safe to say that Arcade Fire knocked everyone off their feet, for good or for bad, with "Reflektor." While some may describe it as dreamy and ethereal, I would go even further and describe the experience as being trapped in a dream, eternally twisting and turning in a unique ethos that is both distant and hauntingly internal. "Reflektor" radiates with artistic brilliance and a vision that borders choreographed physicality and delirious abstraction. Arcade Fire seamlessly incorporate danceable percussion, soft rock stylings and delicate electronic touches to create a transcendental musical experience. They cover a wide range of themes in their lyrics, including Greek mythology, existentialism, the afterlife, and simply having a good time, and they're all relevant – no filler lyrics. With "Reflektor," Arcade Fire have proven that, no matter what direction they take, they will always have pure mastery over their medium.

    FINAL SCORE: 95 (almost perfect ----------o---------- perfect)
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  16. 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.
  17. Nov 1, 2013
    8
    My first non hip-hop review comes from an album that many, including myself, have long been anticipating. It's been 3 years. That means we NEED another Arcade Fire record. The first listen I got was when the album was leaked by the band for 24 hours, and I didn't have much of an opinion, since I only got 1 listen. Now that it's released, I took 'Uger's' advice, and listened to it 4 or 5My first non hip-hop review comes from an album that many, including myself, have long been anticipating. It's been 3 years. That means we NEED another Arcade Fire record. The first listen I got was when the album was leaked by the band for 24 hours, and I didn't have much of an opinion, since I only got 1 listen. Now that it's released, I took 'Uger's' advice, and listened to it 4 or 5 times. CD1 is a very strong outing, featuring probably my LEAST favourite track, 'Flashbulb Eyes', but thankfully for the album, it didn't reach the 3 minute mark. However..... CD2 reallly caught me of guard. In my opinion, Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice), It's Never Over (Hey Orpheus), and Afterlife are all top 10 tracks by the band, ever. I'm not one to review an album's deeper meaning or try to explain it, but as always, Arcade Fire covered many interesting, and unique topics. Overall: 91/100

    Favourite Tracks: Reflektor, Here Comes The Night Time, Joan Of Arc, Here Comes The Night Time II, Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice), It's Never Over (Hey Orpheus), Porno, Afterlife

    Least Favourite Tracks: Flashbulb Eyes,
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  18. 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
  19. 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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  20. 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!
  21. Dec 29, 2013
    8
    8.5/10. I was fearing the worst before hearing anything off this album. But I love it. Unexpectedly, it actually has some of Arcade Fire's finest moments, like the throbbing pulse of "It's Never Over" and the majestic pop of "Afterlife". The rockist "Normal Person" builds up to a satisfying crescendo, and the closing track "Supersymmetry" lulls beautifully before going on a bit too long8.5/10. I was fearing the worst before hearing anything off this album. But I love it. Unexpectedly, it actually has some of Arcade Fire's finest moments, like the throbbing pulse of "It's Never Over" and the majestic pop of "Afterlife". The rockist "Normal Person" builds up to a satisfying crescendo, and the closing track "Supersymmetry" lulls beautifully before going on a bit too long with the tape hiss afterwards. Expand
  22. Nov 1, 2013
    7
    There are parts of this album I really like and there are others that just don't do it for me. I think what's causing a lower rating on this one is that every other Arcade Fire album before this I could listen to and enjoy every track, there are a few on Reflektor I don't care for. Some of the tracks sound earlier similar so I would've liked to see a bit more variety while sticking to theThere are parts of this album I really like and there are others that just don't do it for me. I think what's causing a lower rating on this one is that every other Arcade Fire album before this I could listen to and enjoy every track, there are a few on Reflektor I don't care for. Some of the tracks sound earlier similar so I would've liked to see a bit more variety while sticking to the overall themes of the album. Still a huge fan of the band and will definitely see them again on tour but I think this is probably their weakest overall effort. Expand
  23. Apr 16, 2014
    9
    ''Reflektor'' é o mais novo album da banda canadense Arcade Fire e mesmo sendo o último, é um dos melhores discos que a banda ja produziu. O album mostra um Arcade Fire diferente do album antecessor, ''The Suburbs'', mas consegue ser tão bom quanto ele, afinal estamos falando de uma das melhores bandas atuais. Não há muito o que falar sobre esse album e suas caracteristicas a nao ser dizer''Reflektor'' é o mais novo album da banda canadense Arcade Fire e mesmo sendo o último, é um dos melhores discos que a banda ja produziu. O album mostra um Arcade Fire diferente do album antecessor, ''The Suburbs'', mas consegue ser tão bom quanto ele, afinal estamos falando de uma das melhores bandas atuais. Não há muito o que falar sobre esse album e suas caracteristicas a nao ser dizer que ele é incrível e traz boas sensações e sentimentos para quem o escuta mostrando ser uma grande obra de arte de 2013. Expand
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    It would have been perfect album if not for these few minor flaws:

    - Songs performed on HCTNT 22 minute TV special (HCTNT, We Exist and, especially, Normal Person) actually sound better than their album versions - Supersymmetry is a bit of letdown for me as for a closing track. It starts great but after first few minutes its getting worse and staying like that till the end. We remember
    It would have been perfect album if not for these few minor flaws:

    - Songs performed on HCTNT 22 minute TV special (HCTNT, We Exist and, especially, Normal Person) actually sound better than their album versions
    - Supersymmetry is a bit of letdown for me as for a closing track. It starts great but after first few minutes its getting worse and staying like that till the end. We remember outro songs from previous LP's so you should know what I mean.
    - Could have been a little longer. I know it's 75 minute album, but I was hoping same amount of tracks as The Suburbs (probably im just sad it ends to early when I want more and more )

    I rank it on the same level as Funeral and Neon Bible, which means, The Suburbs is still my favorite. Don't get me wrong all these albums deserve 10, but since there is no higher score that I could link up to The Suburbs I'm forced to grade it slightly lower (9+ perhaps
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  27. Nov 5, 2013
    9
    Reflektor is a huge success for Arcade Fire. Thus far it's the weakest reviewed album they've released, but it stands on its own two feet among the rest of their work. People consider the work of Arcade Fire to be among the strongest music of the past decade, and this continues to demonstrate their impeccable ear for quirky songs which reach a mainstream audience. A complete reform of whoReflektor is a huge success for Arcade Fire. Thus far it's the weakest reviewed album they've released, but it stands on its own two feet among the rest of their work. People consider the work of Arcade Fire to be among the strongest music of the past decade, and this continues to demonstrate their impeccable ear for quirky songs which reach a mainstream audience. A complete reform of who they always seemed to be, and this shows that no matter what, Arcade Fire won't be lost in the past. No wonder they're still one of the biggest bands in the world. Fingers crossed for Grammy number two! Expand
  28. Nov 5, 2013
    8
    Reflektor is a solid album that maintains Arcade Fire's tradition of poignant and powerful songwriting. On top of its lustrous lyrics, Reflektor contains songs that effectively blend Win Butlet and Regine Chassagne's vocals, creating beautiful melodies in tracks like 'Afterlife' and 'It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)'. Unfortunately, the album lacks the instrumentals that made The Suburbs soReflektor is a solid album that maintains Arcade Fire's tradition of poignant and powerful songwriting. On top of its lustrous lyrics, Reflektor contains songs that effectively blend Win Butlet and Regine Chassagne's vocals, creating beautiful melodies in tracks like 'Afterlife' and 'It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)'. Unfortunately, the album lacks the instrumentals that made The Suburbs so moving. Only 'Normal Person' matches the instrumental standards of the Suburbs, with smooth drums and guitar riffs powering the ear-gasmic chorus. Still, it is, overall, an album worth adding to one's collection. Expand
  29. 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.
  30. Oct 31, 2013
    8
    With a 7 and a half minuet single.....go Arcade Fire! I loved The Suburbs immensely and immediately. Reflecktor is darker and more complex. It requires a more refined listen and it grows on you the way any amazing album usually does. The first half of the album catches my ear more immediately. The second half i haven't listened to as much. it is kind of like fine chocolate, i don't wantWith a 7 and a half minuet single.....go Arcade Fire! I loved The Suburbs immensely and immediately. Reflecktor is darker and more complex. It requires a more refined listen and it grows on you the way any amazing album usually does. The first half of the album catches my ear more immediately. The second half i haven't listened to as much. it is kind of like fine chocolate, i don't want to eat the whole bar at once. This is a band that is not afraid to step out of its comfortable shoes and stomp around in combat boots. I love them! Expand
  31. 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 doOk 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
  32. Oct 30, 2013
    0
    Has to be the most overrated album I have heard in a long time. I loved arcade fires first two albums, the suburbs was decent but a bit long and drawn out. They have tried something different with this album which i have nothing against but this simply isn't enjoyable listen to. Every single song could be cut by three minutes. Once you think your enjoying one song it drags on for noHas to be the most overrated album I have heard in a long time. I loved arcade fires first two albums, the suburbs was decent but a bit long and drawn out. They have tried something different with this album which i have nothing against but this simply isn't enjoyable listen to. Every single song could be cut by three minutes. Once you think your enjoying one song it drags on for no apparent reason for another three minutes. The only critical review i agree with is clash. Very disappointing. Expand
  33. Dec 13, 2013
    8
    While this album is certainly no "Funeral" or "The Suburbs", this is still a solid addition to the already-impressive Arcade Fire canon. It flows between discs and tracks with different styles and themes, This, like all Arcade Fire albums, can't simply be listened to once and then reviewed. You have to listen to it multiple teams, each time more ready to sink into everything than the last.
  34. Nov 14, 2013
    10
    When you see Arcade Fire live, their complete musical ability comes to life. Often percussion is played by 3-4 members. On Reflektor you get a real sense of this insane musicianship with driving beats and powerful tight instrumentals. I do miss the string section as its not as prevalent here as on other AC albums. This album was a great departure that I applaud AC for. It may not winWhen you see Arcade Fire live, their complete musical ability comes to life. Often percussion is played by 3-4 members. On Reflektor you get a real sense of this insane musicianship with driving beats and powerful tight instrumentals. I do miss the string section as its not as prevalent here as on other AC albums. This album was a great departure that I applaud AC for. It may not win them another Grammy but that is not what they set out to accomplish. In a lot of ways its one of their best albums because its such a departure. They didn't do the same old, same old and it is an excellent album. Expand
  35. 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.
  36. May 9, 2014
    9
    Personally Arcade Fire keeps on hitting these notes and lyrics and it shows with yet another beautiful album possibly one of the best of the year. Reflektor the titled track is a great way to use David Bowie's talents to turn into one of the best songs of 2013, Afterlife and Supersymmetry are stand out tracks to yet another glorious Arcade Fire album.
  37. May 15, 2014
    7
    Musically, Reflektor may be AF's most diverse album to date, full of unpredictable twists and turns that keep you hooked even when the songs themselves start to lag. However, as good as AF are, the benefits do not outweigh the one glaring problem beneath this album: the lack of focus, of harmony. Every other AF album works like a story, with every song tying in to one concentric goal. OnMusically, Reflektor may be AF's most diverse album to date, full of unpredictable twists and turns that keep you hooked even when the songs themselves start to lag. However, as good as AF are, the benefits do not outweigh the one glaring problem beneath this album: the lack of focus, of harmony. Every other AF album works like a story, with every song tying in to one concentric goal. On Reflektor, it seems at times that AF are trying to do that, but it's never clear if this is supposed to be Haitian music or "Rock 'n roll" or whether its theme is concerned with social isolation or break-ups or ranting against Western missionaries. The lyrics are clunky and witless, a huge disappointment considering how much emotion and heart was put into The Suburbs. It's not a bad album, but the lack of focus makes it feel schizophrenic at cluttered. Expand
  38. Dec 4, 2014
    8
    A brave move. The couple have a great harmony especially in 'Orpheus.' The album doesn't quite stack up to the live performance (Big Day Out 2014) nonetheless this is a fine album that deserves repeat listenings. 'Porno' and 'Normal Person' are made particularly edgy by the lyrics and consistent verses while Reflektor, the signature hit of the two discs, hints at self reflection as well asA brave move. The couple have a great harmony especially in 'Orpheus.' The album doesn't quite stack up to the live performance (Big Day Out 2014) nonetheless this is a fine album that deserves repeat listenings. 'Porno' and 'Normal Person' are made particularly edgy by the lyrics and consistent verses while Reflektor, the signature hit of the two discs, hints at self reflection as well as a father-son relationship analysis.
    Not all of the album is top notch: 'Eurydice' and 'Joan of Arc' appear laboured while 'Supersymetry' can be politely classified as a filler song -not the glittering conclusion that the band might've intended. Overall; not quite Neon Bible, but an original effort from increasingly eclectic group of artists.
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  39. 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 inI 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
  40. 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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  41. 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
  42. Nov 3, 2013
    10
    Wow- easily the best AF album to date. More even and enjoyable than the Suburbs. The dub influences give thus double album a "Sandinista" kind of feel. A lot of 70's and 80's
    punk/alternative influence (as opposed to the "Springsteen" feel of the Suburbs). Hear some New Order, Smiths, Clash, White Stripes, even Wilco influences. So glad that AF are trying new things; as good as it was
    Wow- easily the best AF album to date. More even and enjoyable than the Suburbs. The dub influences give thus double album a "Sandinista" kind of feel. A lot of 70's and 80's
    punk/alternative influence (as opposed to the "Springsteen" feel of the Suburbs). Hear some New Order, Smiths, Clash, White Stripes, even Wilco influences. So glad that AF are trying new things; as good as it was a repeat of the Suburbs would have been deeply disappointing.
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  43. 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 aI 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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  44. 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 rootsOne 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
  45. 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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  46. 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.
  47. Oct 30, 2013
    10
    Amazing. Not only Arcade Fire's best album yet, put probably the best album of the last 10 years. Every song is amazing, starting with the dance-rock track Reflektors to the epic 11 minuits song supersymmetry. A must for every indie rock fan.
  48. Oct 31, 2013
    9
    “Do you like Rock & Roll musik? Cuz I don’t know if I do” front man Win Butler despondently and wryly snarls on Arcade Fire’s fourth record Reflektor. It’s bold but that may be a summation to how Arcade Fire went on a mission to deconstruct the apparent stench of conventionalism they felt wafting over them, perhaps feeling pigeonholed by their own merits and achievements. Arcade Fire know“Do you like Rock & Roll musik? Cuz I don’t know if I do” front man Win Butler despondently and wryly snarls on Arcade Fire’s fourth record Reflektor. It’s bold but that may be a summation to how Arcade Fire went on a mission to deconstruct the apparent stench of conventionalism they felt wafting over them, perhaps feeling pigeonholed by their own merits and achievements. Arcade Fire know what’s at stake, despite the current state of Rock music being fragile as ever the risks have to be bigger and more audacious to really leave an impression. They aren’t about to rest on past accolades and acclaim so on Reflektor they forage out into new territories, burning old blueprints to the ground and dancing through the ashes.
    For inspiration Butler traveled to Haiti with his wife and band mate, multi-instrumentalist Régine Chassagne. Butler claimed it opened him up to Caribbean music and rhythms previously off his radar. The band also sought to collaborate with former LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy who ended up assisting in the production. His indelible touchstones are absolutely evident over the course of this sprawling work. Murphy’s influence along with the Haitian exposure leads to Arcade Fire’s most expansive and profound record yet.
    Reflektor is interlinked like one long prose poem with some songs flowing seamlessly into the other. The band refracts and shatters the light to its will like a wondrous prism in the opus of the opening title track. At 7:34, it’s a jarring disco-punk epic, like nothing they’ve really delved into and yet at the very nucleus of it all, it’s still distinctly Arcade Fire. It’s a hybrid concoction of sorts now able to stand on its own legs, blood still pumping with arena-rock grandeur. Butler sings, “We fell in love, alone on a stage, in the reflective age” while Régine spirals neon webs around him cooing in French, “Between the night, the night and the dawn. Between the kingdom of the living and the dead.” The lyrics are still flooded with Springsteen-esque getaway car/young lovers and loners on the run hormones but sonically it’s a cacophonous conglomeration prefacing the rest of the record. Congas meld with horns and synth arrangements as android gurgles and hisses filter through the circuits. Hell, even David Bowie is in there somewhere (Seriously)! “We Exist” boasts an irresistible decadent ‘80s groove as if “Billie Jean” had just morphed into an undulating extraterrestrial spectacle. “Flashbulb Eyes” is a Reggae voodoo shudder as Butler paranoid as ever shivers, “What if the camera really do take your soul?” “Here Comes The Night Time” surges forward with anxious tumult before waves break to reveal a Haitian merengue with Butler pondering one of his many existential questions, “But if there’s no music in heaven, then what’s it for?” “Normal Person” has the billowing maelstrom and muscle of cranky latter day Neil Young as guitars crackle and caterwaul in what may be their most surly rocker to date. “You Already Know” is the closest the band comes to a pop structured song here with a jaunty gleam before “Joan of Arc” closes out the first volume with its crusading glam stomp. Butler’s blusterous yet affectionate lyrics are no doubt an ode to Régine, “When the boys are over you, Joan of Arc, tell the boys I’ll follow you. I follow you. Joan it’s true, I really wanna know you.”
    A reprise opens volume 2 in “Here Comes The Night Time Part II” bathed in gentle washes of baroque pop with a cascading computer-drip pulse before giving way to the 2nd half’s centerpiece combo of “Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)” and “It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus)” complement one another as a retelling of the Greek tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice. Orpheus goes down into the underworld to bring back his beloved Eurydice from the dead. In the first moments of seeing daylight however he turns to see his Eurydice and she has vanished back into the underworld, gone forever. Being the big proponents of light as a muse in much of their songs it’s easy to see why they were attracted to this devastating tale. The former begins with tribal percussion before swelling into a soaring paean while the latter is the palpitating finality and the beacon of light is now only a hollow moon. Flourishes of orbiting pulsating textures give “Porno” a 3am nocturnal glow sprouting cyborg tentacles. “Afterlife” has an island carnival vibe and buoyant hummingbird synths with classic Arcade Fire bombast during the shouted chorus, “I’ve gotta know… Can we work it out? If we scream and shout, till we work it out?” The closer “Supersymmetry” is like a gentle rocking boat out on a sea of flickering fuzz and stirring strings as the track ends briefly before starting back up with a five minute electronic outro collage. As if the band has left the recording room long ago and spirits are attempting to channel a white noise catharsis through whatever was left lying around until the concluding eerie silence.
    Reflektor is literarily and musically dense. Undoubtedly this is Arcade Fire’s most experimental record by far. It’s a sea change type of moment, similar to U2 with Achtung Baby or Radiohead with Kid A. It will definitely leave a polarizing resonance in its aftermath as it challenges the audience like nothing else that the band has done previously. It’s as thrilling as it is abrasive, continually revealing new idiosyncrasies and nuances upon each listen on top of the plethora of immediately visceral moments. Looking for those sparks of contact in the reflective age, “I thought I found the connector,” Butler sings in the beginning. It could be the bond he’s been striving for nearly 10 years now. Butler though remains weary, his anxiousness and restlessness benefit us all, finding no comfort in playing it safe or becoming stagnant. There are so few established bands taking this type of seismic creative risk and stylistic leap and there’s no band pulling it off on a scale as monumental as Arcade Fire, it deserves to be rewarded. They might stumble at some point, but with their first four records they’ve come nowhere close to it.
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  49. 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
  50. Nov 4, 2013
    8
    Arcade Fire returns three years after the release of their Grammy-winning Album of the Year, "The Suburbs" with their new double-disc set "Reflektor" a sprawling, ambitious work containing 13 tracks.

    As you listen to the album, it's evident that Arcade Fire is one of the few modern rock bands that can properly construct a song in the classic sense with strong melodic hooks and
    Arcade Fire returns three years after the release of their Grammy-winning Album of the Year, "The Suburbs" with their new double-disc set "Reflektor" a sprawling, ambitious work containing 13 tracks.

    As you listen to the album, it's evident that Arcade Fire is one of the few modern rock bands that can properly construct a song in the classic sense with strong melodic hooks and intelligent lyrics. Like "The Suburbs", this is another 'zeitgeist' album that reflects the spirit of our times.

    The sound of this album is unlike any other in the band's catalog. Thick with bass synths and a fuller drum sound, it sounds huge, and there's a real emphasis on rhythm this time, inspired by the band's 2011 and 2012 trips to Haiti and Jamaica. "Here Comes the Night Time" is a highlight that switches tempo between a lilting Caribbean swing incorporating steel drums, to a frantic Haitian rara percussive assault at the apex of the song.

    Opening track "Reflektor", is another strong entry that sees lead vocalist Win Butler and wife Regine Chassange trading intertwined vocal lines over a conga-based beat. Rock legend David Bowie contributes backup vocals as the track builds to a sax and string-laden climax.

    "We Exist" is another dance-oriented tune with a bass-line similar to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean". This is a good showcase for Arcade Fire's arrangement skills. They've taken a classic 3-minute pop single and extended it beyond 5 minutes through variations on the chorus hook and an extended bridge. Organ chords enter and play off against rising strings as the song reaches a crescendo in its final minute.

    Other notable tracks:

    - "Normal Person" with an explosive punk chorus that recalls Blur's "Song 2".

    - "Joan of Arc" a very catchy number with Regine adding French vocal lines ("Jeanne d'Arc oohhh...").

    - "It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus) pure 1980's epic new wave driven by bass synth, recalling New Order and Ultravox.

    - "Porno" an hypnotic keyboard-based track with subtle variations on the main hook that keeps it interesting throughout. Another track that recalls 80s UK-based synth bands, with a touch of Roxy Music.

    - "Afterlife" probably the most radio-friendly song that Arcade Fire has released. Big, rhythmic and celebratory.

    Lyrical themes: Duality; our digital age and its tenuous connections; lovers separated and reunited; the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice (Win & Regine?) to name just a few.

    Flaws: The bass synths can weigh down some of the tracks. Songs like "Flashbulb Eyes" and "You Already Know" come off as throw-aways, lacking lyrical substance.

    Final thoughts: Side 2 is stronger on record, but the tracks on side one sound great in a live setting. Overall, a very solid album that aims high and mostly succeeds.
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  51. 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
  52. 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.
  53. 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 soThere 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
  54. Oct 30, 2013
    10
    Fantastic. A gorgeous burner soaked in acid. Hopeful and hopeless, classy and indulgent. Surely a piece that will remain with me until I make my final exit.
  55. Nov 16, 2013
    10
    This album is simply remarkable. The range and growth they've showed on this masterpiece is highly under appreciated. Reflektor is perhaps their best album since Funeral. Personally I cant wait to see what they come up with next.
  56. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    This album blew me away, for I was afraid I wouldn't love it with some nasty low scores bandied about. What a beautifully layered transition and amazing song to song structure. Can Arcade Fire ever miss the mark? Perfectly timed change up of sound with James Murphy....who knew this would work? For those giving this low scores....shame on you! This is magestic musicianship at it's peakThis album blew me away, for I was afraid I wouldn't love it with some nasty low scores bandied about. What a beautifully layered transition and amazing song to song structure. Can Arcade Fire ever miss the mark? Perfectly timed change up of sound with James Murphy....who knew this would work? For those giving this low scores....shame on you! This is magestic musicianship at it's peak and bravo for any artists challenging themselves and it's listeners. The Suburbs was great, if you want The Suburbs II don't come a knocking, but if you crave something more, well, then come on in... Expand
  57. Oct 29, 2013
    9
    This isn't seventies disco, it's the dark dance of the eighties, and it has never been represented better than here on Reflektor. I find myself being infected with the rhythms throughout the entire day. well executed, and brilliantly composed as a whole.
  58. 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.
  59. Nov 1, 2013
    9
    this album is awesome. after listening to it like 20+ times it's really good, musically and thematically. yeah!!!!!!!!!!! maybe it's not so good as the first album with one or two skippable songs but ya
  60. 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
  61. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    It's the same amazing emotional, nostalgic, interesting arcade fire, but with a touch of disco. Arcade Fire wanted to spice things up, and they still remained true to their sound, and their concept of an album. Sorry for the cheesy review. Honestly, I am just all around impressed by Arcade Fire's ability to come out with four great consecutive albums. Arcade Fire is a group of artisticIt's the same amazing emotional, nostalgic, interesting arcade fire, but with a touch of disco. Arcade Fire wanted to spice things up, and they still remained true to their sound, and their concept of an album. Sorry for the cheesy review. Honestly, I am just all around impressed by Arcade Fire's ability to come out with four great consecutive albums. Arcade Fire is a group of artistic geniuses who care about quality, but also care about the album. Few artist (especially in 2013) care to make an album that plays like a symphony start to finish. Expand
  62. Nov 7, 2013
    9
    Totally unlike their first three albums and brilliant for it. Funeral, Neon Bible and The Suburbs are some of my favourite albums of all time but it takes real balls to take such a left turn and takes real genius to make it as good as this.
    First listen will probably leave you a bit dazed and confused but give it two or three before passing judgement.
  63. 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
  64. 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.
  65. Nov 22, 2013
    9
    In many ways, Arcade Fire has nestled in among some of the great names of alt-rock. A modern day Joy Division? perhaps R.E.M? I hear so many different styles in their music, including a Yes like guitar and harmony in Awful Sound. The album challenges the listener to sometimes say out-loud, wow this sounds like It leaves you thinking about all the great 80's bands you grew up hearing, orIn many ways, Arcade Fire has nestled in among some of the great names of alt-rock. A modern day Joy Division? perhaps R.E.M? I hear so many different styles in their music, including a Yes like guitar and harmony in Awful Sound. The album challenges the listener to sometimes say out-loud, wow this sounds like It leaves you thinking about all the great 80's bands you grew up hearing, or are just discovering. It's a great listen and some people may say, oh those guys are bombastic, but I rarely used that word in daily conversation, so I choose to ignore those people. If you want to hear some fresh alternative rock, this is a solid effort from the Canadian, Internationally influenced Arcade Fire. Expand
  66. Nov 1, 2013
    9
    Good to hear that AF doesn't repeat itself like other artists and each album sounds different! Some of the tracks are longer then usual but it's a good thing when it comes to good songs!
  67. Nov 26, 2013
    9
    It's hard to top The Suburbs, which is a great Kanadian/Amerikan audio novel that, in my mid-40s, I can identify with from when I was a "kid". That album had a message, a theme and besides a few departures a definite kharakter to it that made listening to the album konkomitant with watching a well krafted movie, or...reading a good novel. Which is why Reflektor does feel to some as aIt's hard to top The Suburbs, which is a great Kanadian/Amerikan audio novel that, in my mid-40s, I can identify with from when I was a "kid". That album had a message, a theme and besides a few departures a definite kharakter to it that made listening to the album konkomitant with watching a well krafted movie, or...reading a good novel. Which is why Reflektor does feel to some as a bakkslide by the band. I myself miss the sort of "jugband" antiks where ankient and obskure instruments are put into play to kreate the layers of the very sweet onion The Suburbs was.

    But what I get from Reflektor is a band truly grown up, they're not the "kids" of The Suburbs anymore, and they're willing to play with sounds "other than their own" and not afraid, in their new konfidence, to just lighten up and have some fun. Yes, there are deep messages in some of the lyriks and the passion and konskienke of the band still remind me of U2 when they gave a damn. But, Reflektor is their "Akhtung Baby" where they're "sampling" genres and giving them the Arkade Fire treatment...while still staying true to themselves.

    We didn't need another heavy rekord like The Suburbs and neither did the band. It's a very enjoyable album simply for the audio pleasure of it, and some of the lyriks are okkult enough in their metaphors to let you just enjoy the song. Joan of Ark is my favorite. The little "doo wop" at the end of "Joan of Ark" by Regine is a kheap little addition that makes the song lighten up, konsidering the subject matter, and you can ignore the lyriks and enjoy the song, but listening along with the lyriks, that opens up the album as a komplex, deep work even if it doesn't have quite the same kalories The Suburbs did...and the songs are top tapping party piekes as well. A fan of Arkade Fire should not be disappointed and it makes a great plake to introduke the band to others, then let them find the older albums if they want the full treatment.

    Yes, the B-Side is not as sukkessful, but it's a "double album" and there's bound to be some stuff here that made the kut that wouldn't on a shorter release, but after the quality of the A-Side, it's hard to follow behind that.

    The only real negative for me is there isn't one song with Regine as the main vokalist. Yes, she's given duty on several songs so we get to hear her voike. But where is the "Haiti" or "Empty Room" or "Sprawl" for her to shine?

    So no, it's no "Suburbs," it's lighter fare, they're having fun without forgetting themselves and it's a great album with meaningful lyriks that you don't have to follow to enjoy the album, that's the main departure from their last work.

    Psst...the misspelling of "reflector" is a klue that they're having a good time. So should you.
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  68. 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.
  69. Nov 16, 2013
    9
    A mammoth of an album, emotional yet extroverted, uplifting yet grounded, basically another great album from one of the best bands going today. James Murphy really brought out the slick, dark, cool feel to their music and helped craft one of the best albums of the year. Funeral will probably always be my favorite on the bands discography but this is a strong addition to an alreadyA mammoth of an album, emotional yet extroverted, uplifting yet grounded, basically another great album from one of the best bands going today. James Murphy really brought out the slick, dark, cool feel to their music and helped craft one of the best albums of the year. Funeral will probably always be my favorite on the bands discography but this is a strong addition to an already outstanding discography. I love music and Arcade Fire are one of the reasons why, listening to their music makes one feel happy to be alive, like all good music should do. 9/10 Expand
  70. 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.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
  71. 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)"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
  72. 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.
  73. Dec 20, 2013
    7
    I've never been a huge Arcade Fire fan. I've tried to enjoy "Neon Bible" and "Funeral", but they just didn't do it for me.

    When everybody and their cousin recommended that I listen to "The Suburbs" back in 2011, and I discovered one of the better sounding and produced albums I've heard in the past 5 years. It was a breath of fresh air amid all of the skinny jean angst flooding the
    I've never been a huge Arcade Fire fan. I've tried to enjoy "Neon Bible" and "Funeral", but they just didn't do it for me.

    When everybody and their cousin recommended that I listen to "The Suburbs" back in 2011, and I discovered one of the better sounding and produced albums I've heard in the past 5 years. It was a breath of fresh air amid all of the skinny jean angst flooding the market, despite having its own sense of fashionable disquiet. It's an unapologetic reflection on life inside of a bubble, the voice of a generation who grew up in the nuclear American Dream with the White Picket Fence, but finding themselves unsatisfied with the hard plastic life and preferring to experience life in the unsterilized city. I personally HATE drawing too much personal meaning from any musician's words, but "The Suburbs" seemed to flow so naturally off of frontman Win Butler's tongue that it was hard not to relate to what sounded like a very honest reflection of a young life.

    That all said, it was hard not to get excited about "Reflektor". Granted, it's a high hurdle to leap to follow up an Album of the Year Grammy winner, but I was optimistic.

    And then disappointed.

    "Reflektor", to quickly sum, just smacked of overexertion and an attempt to recreate "The Suburbs". In essence, they tried WAY too hard.

    Arcade Fire’s musical strength still shine through, including instrumentals, vocals, and the synth tones added here and there. They maintain the upbeat tempo of "The Suburbs", but turn the mood of the tracks to a bit more morose, perhaps darker on some tracks. As per always, they do a fine job of flexing their musical versatility. Win doesn't shy away from his short-of-breath vocal stylings which is a major characteristic of Arcade Fire's general sound there’s no question that this is an Arcade Fire album. They don’t depart too far from their characteristic sound, and I’d argue still own it more than other bands of a comparable genre.

    The lyrics, song titles, and production choices are the downfall for this album in my mind. While their previous release did strongly incorporate the song title in the lyrics to establish the topic/theme of the song, they managed to do it tastefully. The songs grew and developed organically and THEN revealed the title as a lyric. In "Reflektor", however, the band beats the listener over the head with the title of the song, using it repetitively as a way to fill a musical interlude with vocals ("Reflektor", "Here Comes the Night Time") or as an overly punctuated focal point of the chorus ("Joan of Arc") (“It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus)” seems to fall into both categories). Some of the tracks had me nearly cringing in anticipation of how they would shoehorn the title into the choruses.

    What really gets me is like I said above: they tried REALLY hard to make "Reflektor" "The Suburbs II: Reflektor" and just borrowed too much from their previous success. I'm likely reading too much into it, but I get the vibe of "You liked 'The Suburbs', right? Well, you HAVE to like ‘Reflektor’!" from this album.

    It isn't a BAD album by any stretch. You can listen through “Reflektor” reel to reel and not feel the explicit need to change tracks or turn the album off. It's a good listen, and I’d recommend buying it at a sale price. There’s certainly something to be said for giving the fans what they want (and Lord knows I wanted more of The Suburbs), but given its predecessor's accomplishments, "Reflektor" left me wanting for more.
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  74. 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
    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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  75. 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
  76. 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 PersonWhoah 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
  77. 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.
  78. 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 unexploredBrilliant. 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
  79. 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.
  80. 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 andAfter 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
  81. 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 .TheHey 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
  82. 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.
  83. Oct 29, 2013
    8
    With only 24 hours of listening to the album it's hard to truly judge it. A truly great and lasting album is most often not an immediately likable album. That said, there are several tracks on here that are accessible ver quickly: Reflektor, We Exist, Here Comes The Night, It's Never Over, Porno, Afterlife. In my opinion, it's great they went in a new direction leaving just enough of theWith only 24 hours of listening to the album it's hard to truly judge it. A truly great and lasting album is most often not an immediately likable album. That said, there are several tracks on here that are accessible ver quickly: Reflektor, We Exist, Here Comes The Night, It's Never Over, Porno, Afterlife. In my opinion, it's great they went in a new direction leaving just enough of the familiar Arcade Fire sound so listeners don't feel lost. The album could have definitely cut and tidied up so as not to be so long. The length itself isn't a problem, but there are just too many songs that don't really work, for me. This could change, but as of right now, I would have cut the majority of the first disc (minus the three songs I mentioned earlier, of course) as the second disc is where they really shine. Collapse
  84. Oct 30, 2013
    10
    Reflektor is a masterpiece .I found The Suburbs a bit AOR made for the lovers of country music and far away from the Funeral spirit This one puts them in the game again This really amazing alternative music .I almost scream when i hear Win singing so sexy on the Normal Person intro "Do you like rock n roll music cuz i don't know if i do". Epic album the best of theReflektor is a masterpiece .I found The Suburbs a bit AOR made for the lovers of country music and far away from the Funeral spirit This one puts them in the game again This really amazing alternative music .I almost scream when i hear Win singing so sexy on the Normal Person intro "Do you like rock n roll music cuz i don't know if i do". Epic album the best of the year with James Blake Daft Punk My Bloody Valentine and Kurt Vile Expand
  85. Oct 30, 2013
    10
    It has been a long time since I have heard a new album that is as creative, exciting, and fun as Reflektor. This is the sound of a band at the top of their game. I don't know how long their run of outstanding albums is going to last, but I for one am going to enjoy the ride.
  86. 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
  87. 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.
  88. Oct 30, 2013
    10
    Another great Arcade Fire album .Different but very strong.In my opinion their best ,just because they dare to explore new paths and not rest on their laurels. The single 'Reflektor" is their Paranoid Android ,just majestic and adventurous .But i agree with some other reviewers that the highlight of this album is "It's never over" .Well all the songs are really special and theAnother great Arcade Fire album .Different but very strong.In my opinion their best ,just because they dare to explore new paths and not rest on their laurels. The single 'Reflektor" is their Paranoid Android ,just majestic and adventurous .But i agree with some other reviewers that the highlight of this album is "It's never over" .Well all the songs are really special and the album is a masterpiece Expand
  89. 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.
  90. Oct 30, 2013
    10
    I loved this album the moment I first heard it. This is an inmersive experience. Such a good collection of songs. It's so catchy, the two halves sound different yet they still share the same core. The production is just stunning and the music is beautiful.
  91. Oct 31, 2013
    10
    Arcade Fire drifts aparts from the folkish sound of the Suburbs and approach a dark rythm section without betraying their rock roots .I like the way they play their music .They have no complex to be imperfect as well as they try to sound perfect For instance Normal person and You already know seem to have been recorded live without the tricks ofArcade Fire drifts aparts from the folkish sound of the Suburbs and approach a dark rythm section without betraying their rock roots .I like the way they play their music .They have no complex to be imperfect as well as they try to sound perfect For instance Normal person and You already know seem to have been recorded live without the tricks of the lush production The second disc is more innovative for them .Great songs here Reflektor we exist Here comes the night time Afterlife It's never over Normal person and of course the Beatlesque Awful sound [with its 3d sound magic] Expand
  92. Nov 1, 2013
    8
    Arcade Fire's fourth LP sees a drastic stylistic change from their previous three records, which could be viewed as a trilogy of sorts. If Funeral is about innocence and seeing the world through the eyes of a child, then Neon Bible represents the shock of being hurled into the harsh realities of the real world. And finally, The Suburbs is a mixture of the two, featuring introspection andArcade Fire's fourth LP sees a drastic stylistic change from their previous three records, which could be viewed as a trilogy of sorts. If Funeral is about innocence and seeing the world through the eyes of a child, then Neon Bible represents the shock of being hurled into the harsh realities of the real world. And finally, The Suburbs is a mixture of the two, featuring introspection and reflection upon both childhood and the shock of adulthood.

    Reflektor divorces itself from this style and message, which is mostly for the better. Arcade Fire moves in a completely different direction here, with many songs going for a more disco/ dance vibe. The first half has a few notable tracks (ie "Reflektor," "We Exist," "Here Comes the Night Time," and "Normal Person.") but the other tracks pale in comparison, and overall, the first disc doesn't have any coherency musically. All the different genres Arcade Fire plays around with here don't fit together seamlessly, and it's kind of schizophrenic, to be honest. The first half itself merits a score of 6 or maybe 7. Rest assured, your guaranteed to find at least one track that you LOVE, but it all doesn't jive very well.

    The second half of Reflektor is where the album truly hits its groove. MUCH more coherent; MUCH more focused, and just so much better. This is where the double albums cover art starts making sense as well. You can kind of tell that the second half is where Arcade Fire took a lot of care into developing the concept of this album, where as the first half are just the best songs they could compile and it feels like its just thrown together. The arc from "It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)" to "Porno" to "Afterlife" is hands-down the strongest portion of the album. The final minute of Afterlife is just so beautiful, so human, and yet so gut-wrenchingly tragic.... it's vintage Arcade Fire-- it will make your heart bump loudly and your breaths long and full.

    Overall, Reflektor is a success, and a must-listen for any Arcade Fire fan.

    FAV TRACKS: HERE COMES THE NIGHT TIME, PORNO, AFTERLIFE
    LEAST FAV TRACKS: YOU ALREADY KNOW, JOAN OF ARC, AWFUL SOUND (OH EURYDICE)
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  93. 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.
  94. 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
  95. 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.
  96. 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.
  97. Nov 5, 2013
    10
    The latest arcade fire album "Reflektor" in my eyes is one of the most remarkable albums of the year. You could even go towards saying of our age. The time and passion they put into every album is remarkable.
    Being winners of 2009's Grammy's, Album of the year, you know that they have grown to see what a high quality album is and on Reflektor there's just as much to enjoy if not more.
    The latest arcade fire album "Reflektor" in my eyes is one of the most remarkable albums of the year. You could even go towards saying of our age. The time and passion they put into every album is remarkable.
    Being winners of 2009's Grammy's, Album of the year, you know that they have grown to see what a high quality album is and on Reflektor there's just as much to enjoy if not more. Song's like Reflektor, Here Comes the Night Time, We Exist, all have a new dancey flavor to there original sound. Front man Win Butler and gang, teamed up with LCD Soundsystem legend James Murphy to help produce a album that makes you want to move your feet, but still with Arcade Fires deep messages. There song We Exist is a message about the harsh misunderstanding between a fathers gay son and himself. Addressing social topics has always been a key symbol in the messages of there deep songs. To get to the mastery that they achieved musically, they thought out of the box and spent time writing material and playing in Haiti. Its things like this that put the band ahead of all other musical performances.
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  98. Nov 7, 2013
    10
    While going against the cathartic rush of Funeral might be difficult; while competing against the alienation may be trying; and while building upon the Grammy-winning, anthemic, and nostalgic The Suburbs may be a great challenge; Arcade Fire have really outdone themselves on Reflektor. It truly is two separate albums compacted into one. The first disc details the alienation of the digitalWhile going against the cathartic rush of Funeral might be difficult; while competing against the alienation may be trying; and while building upon the Grammy-winning, anthemic, and nostalgic The Suburbs may be a great challenge; Arcade Fire have really outdone themselves on Reflektor. It truly is two separate albums compacted into one. The first disc details the alienation of the digital age has had on those of us who strive to be unique. The second has the recurring theme of death, afterlife, and the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, all of which had been alluded to in the first disc. Despite the fact that the first an second albums are extremely different, each disc feels extremely incomplete without the other. One discusses how life without real relationships is like death and the other turns the concepts of the first into a story.

    But one of the greatest lyrical glories of the album is that it is so incredibly cryptic. Some things about the lyrics of the album will be puzzling us for months and maybe years. Hidden behind a bizarre disco and Haitian-rara musical foreground is perhaps the greatest lyrical exploration of the question of our time: how do we foster love and friendships in a time that is more concerned with your status and a quick like? There might not be an answer, but at least some of the problem can be solved in this complex masterpiece of one the greatest musical artists of our time.
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  99. Nov 18, 2013
    10
    Blown away, just blown away.

    Watched them on Saturday night at Glasgow Barrowlands this album is amazing it's a beast live, truly.

    Been doing gigs for 30 years and clocked AF 4 times live already, that was the best gig i have ever been to

    10/10 live and album
  100. Jan 6, 2014
    10
    The criticism that this album is disco, has clearly not listened to the whole album nor knows what disco really is. This album is significantly more diverse, dynamic and layered than any of their previous efforts and as a result, some critics and long term fans are having a difficult time with the change. In my opinion, the change has resulted in a magnificent opus. The double album isThe criticism that this album is disco, has clearly not listened to the whole album nor knows what disco really is. This album is significantly more diverse, dynamic and layered than any of their previous efforts and as a result, some critics and long term fans are having a difficult time with the change. In my opinion, the change has resulted in a magnificent opus. The double album is the perfect length and the delineation between the two albums with the old school cassette flip tape indicator made me smile. Great piece of work. Expand
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").