Arcade Fire released their most recent album, Reflektor, on Oct. 28, giving their sound a different dynamic than past albums.
The album is growing on me. The first time I listened through it, I felt moderately underwhelmed and couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t help comparing it to the band’s last album The Suburbs—an album that truly defined Arcade Fire’s position in music and set them apart from other indie rock groups. That album is tough to follow, but the band had the production help of former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy on Reflektor, so I knew I had to give it more of a chance.
There are certainly elements of Reflektor that sound influenced by Murphy, like the way the song “Reflektor” is one continuous build from the very beginning of the song, all the way through to the end. The rhythms that resonate in “It’s Never Over (Oh Orpheus)” and “Afterlife” also seem to be what Murphy added to the album.
A personal favorite on the album is “Normal People”—a song that is absolutely raw and emphasizes Arcade Fire’s edge with lyrics that grab the listener like, “Is there anything as strange as a normal person? Is anyone as cruel as a normal person?”
Overall, the album has a different sound that can’t be compared to the band’s previous works. That being said, the band will probably continue heading in the same sort of direction, considering Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler hinted in a Rolling Stone article that the band still has “more work to do” with Murphy.