Arcade Fire rocks their newest album

What is Arcade Fire’s charm? Over the course of their not quite 10 year existence, they have amassed acclaim from nearly all conceivable sources of musical criticism, won a Best Album Grammy for their 2010 release, “The Suburbs”, and have been a seemingly limitless source of inspiration and happiness for countless fans (myself included).
Bravado is what garners this Canadian independent powerhouse so much respect and love. An unflinching ability to be as triumphant and loud, soft and despondent, and everything in between as they can be. In all their albums, there is a common thread of intangible grandeur and scope that makes them, for all their occasionally over-the-top melodrama, intensely fun and exciting to listen to. Their latest album, “Reflektor”, is no exception.
“Reflektor” is a double album, and in classic double album style, Arcade Fire has put a little bit of everything into it. Mixed with the tried and true elements of Glam and Art rock that have defined Arcade Fire’s previous output are elements of disco, punk, ‘70s and ‘80s-esque ballad, and noise rock. There was plenty of room for experimentation, and they have used every bit of it.
Also unlike their previous albums, the music here seems to be a centerpiece and not just a background for Win Butler’s lyrics, as it often seemed in the past. Guitars play out of unison, bass lines have been pushed to the forefront and drumlines meander under the constant backdrop of keyboard and techno noise. The effects are, at parts, mesmerizing, and make one wonder why this wasn’t allowed to happen in albums past.
Another important factor in this album is the production. James Murphy, former frontman of Dance/rock band LCD Soundsystem has taken the reins as producer; it definitely shows. Many of the tracks on this album, like the title track and “It’s Never Over (Hey, Orpheus)” go far above the dreaded five-minute mark, yet none of the songs ever seem boring or long. This trait was one of the definitive elements that made LCD Soundsystem so beloved. Murphy has lost none of his momentum here, allowing his touch to be felt throughout. His contribution may be the most important change from Arcade Fire’s previous sound, and it is definitely welcome.
“Reflektor” has everything anyone has come to expect from an Arcade Fire Album and more. This is possibly their finest and most cohesive piece of work, and that’s saying something. Not just by Arcade Fire standards, but by double album standards, this album absolutely wins.