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47 of 54 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 12 months ago by orac101

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Ambitious Fourth
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...
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer


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47 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here come The Reflektors..., 6 Nov 2013
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 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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3.0 out of 5 stars Arcade Fire - Indulgence and Innovation, 28 Oct 2013
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
Anyone approaching this album will already be struck by the mixed press it has received. Pitchfork call it "An Event--an album that dares to be great, and remarkably succeeds". On the other hand Drowned in Sound ruefully reflects that here we see "a potential candidate for album of the year wither away into the dust of disappointment". The weight of expectation around "Reflektor" has been enormous. Arcade Fire are one of the best things to happen to rock music and with every anticipatory fibre in your being you want them to succeed. A double album of their music produced by LCD Soundsystem retired genius James Murphy? What a prospect, the Gods of music must have conspired to produce such a great pairing. Sadly the reality does not live up to the billing.

1. It is too long - there are a limited number of genuinely worthwhile studio doubles that stand the test of time. "Blonde on Blonde", "London Calling", "Something/Anything", "Physical Graffiti", "Sign of the times" and "the White Album" (although George Martin thought it would make a better single LP) spring to mind. Others fall into a different category that the production of a much tighter single album would have been the better course of action. Think "The Wall", "Speakerboxx/The Love Below", "The River", "1999". "Layla" and "Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness". As it stands "Reflektor" feels like an album that falls in the the latter camp not the former.

2. The question of filler - The issue of the 10 minute "Hidden Track" on this album is the most obvious example of studio nonsense that Murphy and the Butlers should have left on the cutting floor. But why in a superb song like the closing "Super symmetry", the first half of which is sheer beauty writ large, is the listener subjected to a concluding five minutes of tape loop? Where is that old band that would have taken this to a shattering brilliant crescendo? Similarly songs like "Its never over" start fine but take an age to fade out like a pale impression of the storming Arcade Fire of old.

3. Side One casts a large shadow on Side Two - The single "Reflektor' is brilliance. It is one of the best thing the band has ever done. This reviewer cannot stop playing the Fripp like rhythms of the stunning "Normal Person" notably one of the albums shorter tracks. The sheer inventiveness of "Here come the night time" hugely impresses with its refrain of "if you want to be righteous get in line" and builds to a great finish. Similarly you could drop the pounding "You already know" and excellent "Joan of Arc" into any Arcade Fire album and they would push up the quality meter. If "Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)" could have been placed in this disk then job done.

The album finds itself caught between a rock and a hard place. You sense for the band that it has been a labour of love and that cutting any part of it would have been viewed as an act of butchery (particularly as Win butler has highlighted that some 50 songs were recorded in these sessions). Yet for the listener the nagging feeling prevails that "less would have been more" haunting this record throughout. Thus the fault line for Montreal's finest is an unwillingness to edit down two discs into a killer single record. Despite this observation when this record does fire on cylinders it is a true wonder and reminds you that an off kilter Arcade Fire produces more energy than there most illustrious contemporaries. In short "Reflektor" is a good record that could have been a great one.
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28 of 36 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant!. Having listened to the cd for months ..., 23 Sep 2014
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Utterly brilliant!. Having listened to the cd for months I opted for the vinyl version of Reflektor. What a difference, so much more revealed. Its like listening to a different album, so many extras to be heard. Purer and more defined instruments and vocals. Buy it to hear the difference. Is this their best album? I think so and that's some statement after the outstanding Neon Bible.
Highly recommended.
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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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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
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B. J. Farmer (Rugby, England) - See all my reviews
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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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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Masterpiece In The Wake Of The Soul Destroying 'The Suburbs', 30 Oct 2013
By 
Steven IMPEY "Wildwolf" (Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
'Reflektor' is a MASTERPIECE. The 4th album by Canadian indie outfit Arcade Fire - produced by LCD Soundsystem legend James Murphy and regular Markas Dravs, 'Reflektor' is part funky driven 80's electronic beats backed with disco, reggae and Springsteen reminiscent rock and pop and part sweeping melodic sounds of a band exploring sounds previously untapped. Songs like 'Joan Of Arc' and 'Supersymmetry' ending with reprisals of other songs, disco backbeats, muffled conversation and whirring static electronic noise. Lead single 'Reflektor' embellishing the influence producer Jame Murphy has had on the band with an 80's filled electronic funk number which echoes in other tracks such as 'We Exist' and 'Porno'. While the album retains that Arcade Fire sound with tracks 'Flashbulb Eyes' and 'Normal Person', while 'Joan Of Arc' and 'You Already Know' show a clear connection between 'The Suburbs' and 'Funeral'. 'Sypersymmetry' providing a haunting mellow ending to the album with orchestral backing which lingers on with the sound of a band becoming distant from reality.

'Reflektor' is an evolution. The move into territories uncharted by the band. A move from the bland rock and pop sounds which populated 3rd album 'The Suburbs' into a sound which is two parts full and empty. Given the disappointing mess of bland sounds which preceded it, 'Reflektor' is a return to form and matched only by the masterpiece telling of humanities end with 'Neon Bible'.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Flawed genius, 13 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
Many great songs but also many that I didn't like and weren't up to the standards set by Funeral, Neon Bible and The Suburbs. Would have been a great album if it was edited down to an album of A sides.
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Reflektor
Reflektor by Arcade Fire
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