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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here come The Reflektors...
Arcade Fire? Just a band...and a hugely over hyped one at that which might go some way to explaining why this 'abstract' and 'difficult' 4th album has divided hard core fans and rock dullard music journalists.

My own personal hero worship of Arcade was a brief two year fling between 2005 and 2007 that ended once I had overplayed the rather brilliant 'Neon...
Published 18 months ago by orac101

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3.0 out of 5 stars Some excellent songs on this album
Some excellent songs on this album, but also a fair amount of what sounds a lot like lift music! Also why is the album split between 2 CDs? I bought it to play in the car and it is irritating to have to switch CDs midway through. Personally I'd recommend buying this album as a digital download, and not bothering with Here Comes The Night Time II and Supersymmetry.
Published 7 months ago by Natalie

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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here come The Reflektors..., 6 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
Arcade Fire? Just a band...and a hugely over hyped one at that which might go some way to explaining why this 'abstract' and 'difficult' 4th album has divided hard core fans and rock dullard music journalists.

My own personal hero worship of Arcade was a brief two year fling between 2005 and 2007 that ended once I had overplayed the rather brilliant 'Neon Bible' with its gorgeous deluxe CD boxset. By the time that 'The Suburbs' came along, I had totally lost interest, skipped that particularly album despite all the praise and nonsense written about it until a week or so again when 'Reflecktor' blasted out of the radio and lifted a sterile playlist full of Top 40 twerking junk.
Was this really Arcade Fire with a pulsating Giorgio Moroder bassline, deliciously offbeat vocal interplay within a indie disco stomper that was subversively altering the airwaves of Planet Pop? The title track was worthy of further investigation and after one play of both volumes, I was hooked once again by this curious Canadian band and giving the entire album another listen, followed by another listen.

The first thing that struck me about this album as a whole was its wonderful diversity - each track is so different and so brilliantly bonkers how they all build then wrong foot the listener with a nifty chord change or a curve ball in the form of a frantic finish within a clash of ideas. It is this unique brilliance across both volumes that inspires wonder with each play. LCD's James Murphy certainly adds something new and exciting to Arcade's already rich pallet of sounds but his input has been massively overstated by those who have rubbished the album.

'Reflektor' isn't the full-on electronic album that critics claim, nor is it a traditional Arcade Fire album but it is something that will reward patient listeners with a love for vinyl and soundscapes and 'Reflektor' has plenty of that. There's enough 'classic' Arcade to please long term fans on Volume 1 with tracks that flirt with everything including reggae and 'rock' as well as influences that evoke fond memories of Bowie's finest album 'Low' merged with early Talking Heads & Eno. Then there's Arcade's trademark life affirming choruses all sung and performed as though the band are close to breakdown - edgy yet violently happy.

For me, the best is all left for volume 2 that contains my current choice track 'Porno' with its minimalist new wave synths, stripped bare and free of bombastic production that enables the track to take on a hypnotic, twisted journey. Someone really needs to lock Arcade in a studio awash with classic Moogs and other collectable analogue keyboards because 'Porno' could well be a future blueprint for a band keen to embrace new sonic adventures.

Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give to 'Reflektor' is that with each listen, my fave track changes. One night its 'Porno', the next its 'Afterlife' (a track that will be *everywhere* soon trust me) and at the time of writing these words, 'It's Never Over (Oh Orpheus)' has crept into the scheme of things.

Some people think 'Reflektor' is 'too long'? Nonsense I say. It's not long enough.

I want volumes 5 & 6 and I want them now.

The 180g double vinyl is quite steep with a retail price of over 20 pounds but the sturdy cover and inner sleeves are printed on lush light reflective card. This provides a brilliant effect on the inlay of volume 2 which is covered with stylishly spooky phototgraphy from Depeche Mode's visual director Anton Corbijn. Grab this vinyl deluxe edition whilst you can before future pressings revert back to cheaper packaging.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Ambitious Fourth, 28 Oct. 2013
By 
Amazon Customer (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
Reflektor is the fourth studio album by Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire.

It was tricky enough following up the seminal debut Funeral; this remains their best work to date. However Neon Bible and The Suburbs were still sublime.

The new album is another turn in a different direction. Notably co-produced by James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), Reflektor takes on a funky electronic façade. Epicly spread over two CDs there is an hour and a half of new material for devoted fans to get their teeth into which is instantly quite demanding. Much like their previous works, the album improves with additional listens. But the ingenuity in some of the tracks is weighed down by their excessive length, a stark contrast to the precision of tracks such as 'Laika' from Funeral (3 minutes and a half) - compare this to some of the tracks on this album that clock in at 6 or 7 minutes and you begin to wonder whether the band could have been a little more cunning.

It's a fresh and ambitious record that requires time and patience but is perhaps a little too grandiose and less refined than their older work.

Listen to: Reflektor, Flashbulb Eyes, Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Back to their brilliant best!, 11 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
I came to this album late having been a bit disappointed by 'The Suburbs',and thinking maybe the band had burned themselves out with their earlier brilliance. What a joy then to find that they return here to their brilliant best - indeed,in terms of consistency on any of their albums,maybe this IS their best to date. 'Reflektor' includes a number of energetic,anthemic tracks that will instantly join fans' lists of live favourites,but there is also here plenty of invention and originality and that particularly Canadian brand of kookiness that Arcade Fire so excel at. A dazzling joy of an album,to be listened to LOUD (and on a good quality sound system!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good double album but could have been a great single album, 26 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
When I first heard this album I didn't think it was as strong as their early albums such as Neon Bible but after repeated listenings the album has really grown on me and become one of my favourite albums. Disc 1 has a number of excellent tracks on it and is the stronger of the two discs. This album could probably have been slimmed down to an excellent single album - as it is there are a few filler tracks on the album.

Overall though I still rate this album and would definitely recommend it.
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28 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and Intriguing, 30 Oct. 2013
By 
Brian Hamilton "brianhamilton14" (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
Arcade Fire have been a band I have been following since the seminal Funeral album was released way back in, was it 2005?

Each album subsequent to that, Neon Bible and latterly, The Suburbs, have seen them confound expectations. But, whilst they have done a Radiohead and aimed for ever more obscure sounds inspired by seemingly endless rounds of navel gazing and struggling with the awkwardness they clearly show at their world domination, their sound has never suffered or become boring.

So it is, with the fourth album, we are treated to yet another string to their bow. Proceedings are pretty much in the vein of lead single Reflektor, if you have heard this the you know the type of sound, low key drums, whispered vocals that are oft snarled into the mic, all told a fairly disconcerting mix which is very intoxicating and draws you in on repeated listening. Some of the rougher and more ill-defined noises reminds me of 'On Avery Island' era Neutral Milk Hotel, a very analog-ish, lo-fi and rough sound that is very intriguing.

Although this is a double album it could have comfortably fit on one disc rather than two, but hey, it doesn't matter. The album packaging is well thought out, each disc has a fold out booklet that contains lyrics and grainy, colour photos that are abstract, voodoo-esque and unsettling. A very good accompaniment to the sounds.

I have been drawn in and seduced by this album, although not an immediate hit with killer hooks it pulls you into its world upon repeated listening and is genuinely brilliant.

For the Arcade Fire fan this is essential.

Excellent.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Some excellent songs on this album, 6 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
Some excellent songs on this album, but also a fair amount of what sounds a lot like lift music! Also why is the album split between 2 CDs? I bought it to play in the car and it is irritating to have to switch CDs midway through. Personally I'd recommend buying this album as a digital download, and not bothering with Here Comes The Night Time II and Supersymmetry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great album. What can I say, 13 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
Great album. What can I say? I love it! Arcade Fire true to style, they are an exceptional and innovative band - unique! Have dug out a few of the old albums Neon Bible, Funeral to revisit. Can't understand why people are slating Reflektor or Arcade Fire themselves but everyone entitled to their own opinion. Even my kids think they're cool, no 1D for them!!
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 31 Oct. 2013
By 
A. JONES "LoOnY RaVeR" (South Wales Uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
At first I really hated this album. If you're more of a fan of the classic funeral, you may disappointed. Yet if you love Arcade Fire and love progression this album does it. There's a lot of 80s retro feel to this, I personally love sprawl II on the suburbs, so the 80s feel worked well for me. The first cd is an eclectic mix with the title track reflektor being funky. It then goes on to have a touch of reggae, rock, dance. The second part then delves in to darker territory, into heavy bass, electro rock. All in all after a few listens it has totally blown me away, some will love, some will hate. I think their progression is epic. Standout tracks for me are normal person, its not over(hey orpheus) and afterlife. Would recommend to anyone, superb album
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Glastonbury, 10 July 2014
By 
B. J. Farmer (Rugby, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Reflektor (MP3 Download)
Outstanding. I am a partial new convert, having bought 'Funeral' many years ago, yet didn't persevere past it. (It is superb incidentally).

...then Glastonbury happened....

Having thoroughly enjoyed on BBC (I have never been one for camping!), tapping my toes along, enthralled by the energy of it all, I downloaded AC's albums the following day.

Whilst I recognise this is probably a move towards a more synthesized approach for AC, it is not the dance album many some fans claim it to be. You won't hear any track sandwiched between Dizzee Rascal and Daft Punk at the club (am I showing my age?)

Frankly this is AC's best release to date, and as The Suburbs won so many awards (Grammy for best International album 2011), surely Reflektor will follow with another shelf full......this is a better listen with a more varied audio approach.

If you're in any doubt, preview the best tracks such as 'Reflektor','We Exist', 'Normal Person', 'It's Never Over (Hey Orpheus)' & 'Afterlife'.

My best purchase of the past 12 months.......just wish I had discovered priro to their tour!
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why do you all lay so much expectation on this poor band? This is a great album!, 29 Oct. 2013
By 
N Snow "Nick Snow" (Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
Seriously, why are people so damn keen to label poor old Arcade Fire as 'the best band in the world'? All this does is heap a load of unnecessary pressure and expectation on a band who are clearly looking to explore their potential and create new and exciting albums.

Nearly every review starts by going on and on about how good 'Funeral', 'Neon Bible' and 'The Suburbs' are, before descending into criticizing Reflektor. This seems massively unfair to me. Is it possible that Arcade Fire are not quite the band that the Indie crowd were all so keen to label them as when they adopted them into their narrow-minded guild? I think that Arcade Fire are a very talented and unique band with an enormous arsenal of tricks up their sleeve; of which this album is another product. I think that all the hype and expectation does is turn many people away from this exciting band as they perceive them to be pretentious and inaccessible. This is a shame. I think that this band will continue to record superb albums for many years and that this is another important step along that path.

Reflektor is certainly more electronic in places, particularly the title track and 'Porno', although this works for me. There are certainly moments of over-embellishment too, particularly the bridge in 'Here Comes The Night Time'. There are a few straight forward rock tracks like 'Flashbulb Eyes' and 'Normal Person' and then there is the beautifully mellow closing track 'Supersymmetry' which really leaves a tantalizing taste in the listener. Basically, this is a very eclectic album full of depth and diversity. I admit that there are sections of filler that are totally unnecessary (particularly the hidden track!) and that this album lacks the stand out tracks that may have been present on previous Arcade Fire albums, but I honestly think that it is too soon to pass judgement on the album as a whole. I predict that in 10 years time people will be writing retrospective reviews of 'Reflektor' stating that it was an underrated classic or one of the band's hidden gems in a long and illustrious career. My only criticism really is that you could easily fit the tracks on one disc, especially if you got rid of the latter half of 'Supersymmetry'. I think that this would have helped a great deal with the marketing and the reception of this album, since I feel that 'double albums' are always treated differently.

All in all then, I think that Reflektor is an album of ups and downs. I agree with most of the praise and criticism from other reviewers, but my main gripe is that they judge Arcade Fire too harshly for making a 4/5 album. Granted it's not their best album to date (I personally prefer The Suburbs) but it is a dynamic and interesting album packed with experimentation and catchy music. My top tracks would have to be 'We Exist', 'Reflektor', 'Porno' and 'Supersymmetry'.
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