The cult following Arcade Fire has acquired through their career is nothing short of amazing. Starting out as that quintessential hipster band that was only cool to know if you wore flannel, smoked American Classics and drank PBR religiously, Arcade Fire has become a stadium band, winning album of the year at the Grammy’s and basically infiltrating popular music like no hipster band has done before. Granted most fans of theirs today probably can not name another album let alone song from the time period before “Suburbs” but you know what, the fact that people can name any Arcade Fire song or album in general is the real victory.
Reflektor had a lot of anticipation and a lot of hype surrounding it. This was the album following up what was considered popular music’s album of the year from 2010 so instead of just the Pitchfork community eagerly awaiting the release, the entire world was too. And god damn it, but Arcade Fire could care less. They never once caved to any sort of popular demand or money grabbing scheme, and Reflektor stayed with Arcade Fire’s sound and idea so well, instead of feeling like a meek attempt at continuing whatever magic existed in the last album, it felt like the absolute perfect next step for a band that has made very few missteps their entire career.
The album has that grandiose indie rock feel still, but this time they delve deeper into that disco idea that “Sprawl II” did so well yet also find themselves experimenting a bit more with sounds and electronic noises than before. The album was produced by the great James Murphy and it is all but obvious with the nuances that did not exist on Arcade Fire albums from the past exploding all over the album. Not to mention, the track lengths got quite a bit longer and I can only assume James Murphy’s influence helped in this aspect as well.
Arcade Fire are nothing but consistent and the fact that they are keeping up that mantra even in the face of popular demand and critique is impressive to say the least. Reflektor could have been terrible, it could have been mediocre but Arcade Fire didn’t want to release just any album. They wanted to put out a quality product and by God, Relflektor is that and it only makes me that much more excited for whatever comes next.