The sounds of Arcade Fire’s fourth and latest album, “Reflektor,” are anything but ordinary. As usual the band has pushed the limits of meshing genres, unique soundscapes and raw emotion.
The album leads with the driving title track, “Reflektor.” The song immediately sets the mood for the majority of the album. It has a strong ‘70s disco-era influence, while retaining dark overtones that give it an interesting quality. The music is easily danceable but captivating enough that it’s hard to do anything but listen.
Arcade Fire as a band travels and tours a lot. It definitely comes through in their music. Progressing through the album the listener gets to experience a whole range of different sounds from different parts of the world that all convey different a range of emotions from the happy vibe in “Reflektor” contrasted to the extremely dark tones in “Joan of Arc.
You can be swept from futuristic soundscapes and droning synthesizers, directly into tribal Haitian drum beats, but the production is smooth enough that it all sounds right. The band recently spent some time in Haiti while creating this album, and the influence definitely comes through in some of the drum beats and almost child-like melodies. This can be heard in the track “Flashbulb eyes”.
Even with these obscure influences, the songs on this album are still undoubtedly Arcade Fire. Their unique sound cuts through it all. The same dark themes in lyrical imagery come through as they did on all of their previous albums.
I would give this album a 4.2 out of 5 and recommend it to anyone who likes alternative/psychedelic rock. Being an Arcade Fire album, it’s already bound to be great, but I think that they really pushed their limits and stepped their game up to something new.