Arcade Fire

Reflektor - Sonovox - Merge 2013

Tracks: 1. Reflektor / 2. We Exist / 3. Flashbulb Eyes / 4. Here Comes the Night Time / 5. Normal Person / 6. You Already Know / 7. Joan of Arc / 8. Here Comes the Night Time II / 9. Awful Sound (Oh Erydice) / 10. It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus) / 11. Porno / 12. Afterlife / 13. Supersymmetry


I must admit that I was rather disappointed when I had my first listen to Arcade Fire's "Reflector". The songs came out for me in many cases both sketchy and too longwinded; especially the latter annoyed me: if songs are not very good in the first place why then so long and - why a double album??

After several listens, however, I have had to revise my initially very negative perception. In fact, there are many pretty strong tracks, and if you are in the right mood, some of these extended songs may have you forget time and place. I may agree with the many reviewers who think that a single album, with the best of "Reflector" could have given a stronger overall impression. CD 1 is generally quite strong. The title track has a really good beat and is with its well over seven minutes one of the songs which may draw you away from time and place, but which may also appear a bit longwinded. "We Exist" was also released as single, and the song is actually quite catchy; reminds me a little about Talking Heads. "Flashbulb" is a small short ”Clash-like” song that leads to the more melodic "Here Comes the Night Time" which I feel goes on a bit too long. "Normal Person" and "Joan of Arc" are more rocking; almost punk / new wave songs - both fine tracks. "You Already Know" is an upbeat number which also came out as a single - not a song I find particularly exciting.

CD 2 opens with the slow and for this album short "Here Comes the Nightime". Slow but with more grandeaur is also the fine "Awful Sound", has a great and dramatic finale. "It's Never Over" is for me most characterized by a rather heavy and cold soul-disco beat, though, varied along the way in different parts. "Porno" is one of my favorites: A mid-pace song, with a kind of alluring monotony The same could be said about "Afterlife", which is however, as single, more immediately catchy. The very long final track "Supersymmetry" appears to me to be quite unrelsolved - maybe the ending should be perceived as a "hidden track"?

As a whole, "Reflector" never reaches the heights of "Funeral" or "Neon Bible", but there is a very special mood over the album, which with patience and persistence you may end up embracing you.

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