Reflektor - Arcade Fire
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 387 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 387

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  1. 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.
  2. 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
    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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  3. Oct 29, 2013
    9
    I talked to one of the early critics who reviewed the album (I believe it was the one for Drowned in Sound). He said that he only got one listen of it at a listening party. Apparently it is industry standard for those who want to get a review out before everyone else to cram it out after a single listen. But I believe it's impossible to judge long form art, especially an album like this in a single listen. In fact, on my first listen, I thought the bass was muddy and not quite as effective as it could be. But further listens helped me fortify my understanding of the album and I got used to what I originally objected to. Regardless, i now thing this is a solid, well executed album. It may not be Funeral, but it is essential Arcade Fire. Expand
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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
    a repeat of the Suburbs would have been deeply disappointing. Expand
  7. 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.
  8. 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 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
  9. 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 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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  10. 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!
  11. 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.
  12. 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 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
  13. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    Ok it has happened this past week. Arcade Fire have nudged Radiohead out as my favorite band. The real amazing thing is that these songs sound so natural for Arcade Fire even though it is such a musical departure from their previous material. They are making the most important musicin the world right now and Radiohead will have to up their game after KOL to keep up. Arcade Fire can do no wrong. Expand
  14. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    I first had a taste of Arcade Fire when my brother was playing their debut album "Funeral" in his car. I had no idea who they were, but I liked their sound. I finally found out it was Arcade Fire and I immediately bought my own copy. It turned out that the song "Wake Up" was also getting commercial exposure in movie trailers and Super Bowl ads during that time too. The album was a masterpiece as a whole. I found out that the band was comprised of many musicians and I loved it. Then I checked out their second album "Neon Bible" and it was more of the amazing baroque indie sound but much darker. Though the album is my least favorite of theirs, I still love it to death. Finally, "The Suburbs" was released and it was their first number one album. It was also just as good, if not much better than "Funeral". Beautiful music. It won Album of The Year at the Grammys and I was so happy for them while most people were confused at who they were. They really deserved the win. Now, 3 years later they release viral videos and graffiti ads promoting a new album. Then they released the music video for the lead single and title track of the album "Reflektor" featuring David Bowie. It was a different sound, but a very great song. I think Ive listened to the song at least 10 times a day until they released yet another lyric/music video of the song "Afterlife". It was in my opinion even better than "Reflektor" and the video was just perfect. I just couldn't wait for the new album. Well it has finally arrived and I could not be happier. I thought they wouldn't be able to top their last album, but I think they might have with this epic double disc set. Here is a track by track review.

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

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

    So I may sound biased since I gave most of the songs on the album a perfect score, but I'm confident that this is one of the best albums released in the past 10 years. Some are saying this is Arcade Fires "OK Computer"/"Kid A". I somewhat agree. I might get a lot of disagreements for what I'm about to say, but I think this was much better than both of those Radiohead albums that seem to be brought up whenever an artist experiments nowadays. This is Arcade Fires "REFLEKTOR". This album has so many textures and layers that one will discover with each repeated listen. I already keep discovering new things in the songs I didn't hear before. As many have stated, the album does have a more dance-y feel to it. It works really well though. If there was any doubt that Arcade could surpass their "Suburbs" or "Funeral" album, this is the answer. This album is almost too good. This really is epic. At over 70 minutes long, you really have to get settled in to really enjoy the album, but its worth it. I won't be surprised if this album sweeps the next Grammy award season. This will be analyzed by critics for years as one of the milestone albums of the 2010s decade of music. Do yourself a favor and get this album if you like good music.
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  15. Nov 9, 2013
    10
    There have been many reviews of Reflektor that rate the album as off-the-charts incredible. There have been other reviews which say it's Arcade Fire's worst. After the first few spins, I completely concurred with the negative reviews. I was wondering how Arcade Fire could have slipped so much and was ready to give up, but I thought to myself how could such a mediocre album be getting so many amazing reviews. So I decided to keep at it and gave it a few more spins. Then it started clicking. Reflektor really is an amazing album and ever bit as great (if not greater) than Arcade Fire's first 3 albums. I don't think there has ever been a band whose first 4 albums are each arguably the best album released in the respective years each was released. My advice to anyone not liking this album is to just not give up. It rewards repeated listens to a greater degree than any album I've ever heard. Expand
  16. 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 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
  17. Nov 4, 2013
    10
    I cannot stress enough the need to listen to this album multiple times. I am a massive AF fan, the first album still blows my mind...and on first listen I wasn't sold on this outing. Heard it now a dozen times and can't get the songs out of my head. Win and Regine make amazing music and on every album they make DIFFERENT music. Do yourself a favor and buy this and just let it soak in. Eventually you will find that special something in all but a few songs(flashbulb eyes, supersymmetry) that clicks and shows how wonderful AF construct their music across the spectrum. 10/10. Expand
  18. 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.
  19. Nov 24, 2013
    9
    One of the more impressive 21st century rock albums, it's a shame certain critics shy away from the 2 hour runtime. Arcade Fire makes music for people that want to listen to music, a refreshing change from the 45-50 minute flash in the pan albums from most of today's mainstream contingency. Reflektor manages to present a new sound on each track while both staying true to the band's roots and presenting a new age sound. This is an album that experiments (albeit with success) and as a result moves ahead of its genre (see Yeezus). However, because there are always some reluctant to change it will no doubt attract mediocre press. Don't buy it. But the album instead. Expand
  20. Dec 3, 2013
    9
    [9.1] Reflektor is my least favorite Arcade Fire album but is also quite possibly my favorite album of the year. While I was certainly expecting a dance album from Arcade Fire, I expected a tribute, not a continuation of their previous records, in what seems to be an electronic orchestra. Reflektor certainly isn't limited and at least reaches Arcade Fire's capacity. There is never a bad moment in this record, while there are certainly occasional dull moments (as a listener of Arcade Fire might be accustomed to). It's easy to get past those dull moments and realize that Reflektor is exactly what it promised to be, and is a rightfully rewarding experience. Arcade Fire has come to a welcome new beginning from an unexpected, yet appreciated end. Expand
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    This is the best Arcade Fire record and the album of the year. It requires a few listens, but it showcases some of the best songwriting out there in the indie world. This is just a monster of a double album, and there's no bad tracks. Highlights are Clash-esque "Normal Person", the disco hit title-track and the heavenly duo "Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)" and "It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)" (the latter is pernsonally my best track of 2013). This is an underrated effort that diserves nothing less than a full hundred. Thanks, Win Butler. Expand
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Nov 1, 2013
    9
    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 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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  27. 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 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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  28. 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 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
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
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").