It’s been nearly a decade since Arcade Fire dropped Funeral. In the time between, we’ve watched intently as they’ve grown bolder and stronger, won Grammys, and become one of the biggest bands in the world. It’s been a growth so steady, so flawless, that one can’t help but feel like we’re all just waiting for the other shoe to drop. But if Reflektor has a thesis statement, it’s that its makers aren’t willing to rest on their laurels just yet. The double disc’s 13 tracks brazenly pull inspiration from the American rock ’n’ roll canon, summoning the Stones, the Beatles, the Talking Heads, and U2 not with a wink, but with a stately salute. Among the highlights, “Here Comes the Night Time” takes top prize. It’s a cacophonous frenzy of instruments that runs headlong into a fuzzy bass line and plucky little piano hook, and the way the two ideas crash into each other is nothing short of fantastic. On disc two, “It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus)” finds the band carefully balancing harmonies that are both triumphant and delicate among a bevy of twitchy beats and Joshua Tree–indebted guitar moves. It’s essentially Reflektor’s “Wake Up” moment, and it gives you faith, if just for the duration, that the music industry is going to be all right.
Monday, November 4, 2013
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