Arguably one of the most hyped up albums of all time, Reflektor by Arcade Fire has been the spawn of many debates on the album's more controversial and electronic sound. The album itself was produced by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and was recorded in places such as an old Haitian castle. Frontman Win Butler, has not been shy in talking about the album's influences, stating that most of it is based on the Carnival in Haiti, where the band are frequent visitors.
The album starts off with their lead single "Reflektor" and lets listeners know that this album is nothing Arcade Fire have ever done before. With backing vocals from David Bowie, the song itself is one of the high points on the album. Other great songs of notice include: "Afterlife" with its rousing synthesizers and Win Butler's questioning lyrics, "Here Comes the Night Time" withe its rapid start-stop tempos and Carnival sound, and "We Exist" comprising of such fantastic guitar interplay. Other songs of note on the album include the slower electronic song "Porno" and the soul-staring "Flashbulb Eyes". "Joan of Arc", "You Already Know" and "Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)" are the closest to the old Arcade Fire we will receive on this double album.
Thematically the album speaks of a general distrust in Christianity with many not very subtle references to Hell and Heaven. The lyrics aren't the greatest, but the general meaning of each song is inherent and easy to understand.
Overall, this was a risk that Arcade Fire had to take in order to not be complacent. The album itself, in my humble opinion is reminiscent of such career-changing albums such as Kid A by Radiohead, and Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan. The albums are not similar in sound or even context, but in the way that they completely changed the futures for the artist, and Arcade Fire truly reinvents itself on this album and their future is bright for this in lack of a better word, beautiful band.