Does 'Reflektor' live up to the hype?

Last updated 05:00 02/12/2013
HYPED UP? The album artwork for Arcade Fire's 'Reflektor'

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Arcade Fire's fourth studio album has been the topic of a giant marketing campaign, leading to a giant amount of hype surrounding the release, but how good is it really?

'Reflektor' opens with the groovy title track, and the influence of producer James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) is already evident, as the song takes a more dance orientated turn, with Arcade Fire fan David Bowie popping up for a backing vocal cameo towards the end of the seven-minute track.

The rest of the first side of the record toys with various styles of music, whilst maintaining the sense of arty arena-rock the band have become known for.

The stunningly playful, yet romping 'Here Comes the Night Time', toys with tempos, while the rollicking 'Normal Person' sees Arcade Fire returning to their rockier roots, with Win Butler a vocal performance to rival 'Crown of Love' as one of his best.

However, Arcade Fire's omnipresent over-ambition comes to the fore on the second side of the record, with the 'It's Never Over (Hey Orpheus)' and 'Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)' duo delivering the melodramatic art-rock the band has become known for.

From this point on though, the album falls flat, particularly the closer 'Supersymmetry', which at more than 11 minutes becomes repetitive and tired out fairly quickly.

Despite the shortcomings of the second half of this monstrous double album, the first side of the record ensures that 'Reflektor' is right up there with Arcade Fire's best work, and is certainly worth a listen.


Tracks to try: Reflektor, Here Comes The Night Time, Normal Person

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