Reflektor is certainly not a bad album. It’s actually pretty damn good. But it’s an insanely scary case of an obedient hipster culture being force-fed by buzz blogs and creative marketing campaigns — an example of worshipping a hyped album before its actual release. The second half of this thing would rank in my top five favorite records of the year, but it feels weighed down by a rather bland and bloated first disc. Fans really love the title track and “Here Comes The Night Time,” each clocking in well over six minutes, but I’ve struggled for weeks trying to figure out why I’m hearing repetitive mediocrity.
I find myself skipping to Disc 2, which deserves repeat listens on my record player. “Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)” is, by far, the most impressive track on the album, juxtaposing an eerie modern synth and bass sound with a stunning Beatles-esque chorus. “Porno” is essentially an LCD Soundsystem track — with James Murphy’s obvious influence in the studio. While Win Butler’s vocals didn’t initially resonate for me (insert daydreams of Mr. Murphy bringing LCD out of retirement here), his delivery now represents a lyrical highlight on the record for me. The song is reminiscent of 80s Depeche Mode in the best possible way. “It’s Never Over (Hey Orpheus)” is another second half highlight. The song represents a rare sighting of Neon Bible-era guitars, and Win and Regine’s back-and-forth vocal style fits perfectly. Arcade Fire shot for the moon and reached the skyscrapers. Funeral is still the king of Arcade Fire’s discography and will likely never be surpassed.