Arcade Fire - Reflektor | Track Review | By Volume

What is this life, why do we strive? Fast on a wheel, too fast to feel. One day, my love, this life will slow. Sam Brookes - One Day
AFReflektorSingle

Arcade Fire

Reflektor

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Author: on September 10, 2013

It is extremely fitting and entirely believable that David Bowie has placed his touch once more upon the members of Arcade Fire. “Reflektor” could by all accounts be their “Sound and Vision”-moment, with the single’s namesake record possibly being their Low. Ghostly and driving, “Reflektor” fades in, almost reminiscent of “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” and its initial drop as the percussion kicks in – yet while that preliminary synth rumble and onset of drumming may feel familiar, Arcade Fire quickly turn the tempo down, populating “Reflektor” with wiry guitars, driving Kraut-rock basslines and a wash of combatting vocals between Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. This is quite different from anything the band has produced, yet as expected, it sounds distinctly their own; when “Reflektors'” sax-laden hook peers its head above the bouncing bass, the blurred lines begin forming a focus and it is apparent Arcade Fire very well may leave the dainty window dressings and pillowy melodies of The Suburbs behind, in favor of some straight-up fear.

Yet this is what “Reflektor” revels in: “I thought I had found a way to enter / Just a reflektor / I thought I found the connector / Just a reflektor” Butler and Chassagne croon to us via our speakers. The search is still there, and one would imagine Arcade Fire still haven’t found what they’re looking forwhich is fine, if the pursuit is this unequivocally rewarding. It has been nearly a decade since Funeral was released (as of 9/14/2014 she’ll be ten) and what a turnover life has presented to Arcade Fire in that short amount of time. World tours, various Grammys and still the band are able to keep their alternative-adoration from most fans (if anything, us invested from the jump are that much more devoted). This could easily be linked to the fact that Arcade Fire haven’t really changed all that much since they were teens, marching through the snow into Greater Montreal to scream “Wake Up” to anyone willing to listen. Once more, at least given what they’ve shown us, it looks as if the band aim to reanimate themselves. Yet while The Suburbs-era was more akin to middle-American zombies trying to find worth within the confines of a post-60’s Progressive Nation, that has since regressed into an ass backwards form of itself – Reflektor is this post-punk, Kraut-rock hell where we have lost the war, long ago, and Arcade Fire aren’t here to paint us a picture, but instead be our boatmen as we cross The Styx.

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