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Music Feature

Arcade Fire's new album 'Reflektor': What are our first impressions?

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Have you been seeing these around and about? The Sound has.


In fact, we saw one chalked on a park wall in London on the way to listen to Arcade Fire's new album Reflektor for the first time very recently.

A full review of the record - clocking in at a whopping 80 minutes in length - will follow on Digital Spy shortly. For now, though, here's a few hints about what you can expect from the Grammy-winning group's fourth longplayer.



1. Dancefloor bangers

Reflektor's title track is quite the opening statement - a spine-tingling, floor-filling thing of beauty with a guest appearance from the one and only David Bowie - and there's more where that came from.

'Here Comes the Night Time's twisted carnival air is evocative and memorable, and 'You Already Know' will get feet tapping and arms flailing at indie discos around the globe. 'It's Never Over' also owes a fair bit to New Order - and we know they've released a few dancefloor-friendly unit shifters in their time.

2. Speaking of Bowie...

There are more than a few nods to the man himself on Reflektor. There are moments in 'Normal Person' that have us thinking of the sweeping majesty of 'Heroes', while the intro to 'Here Come the Night Time II' and parts of 'Awful Sound' evoke the 'Space Oddity' or 'Starman' era.

3. A noticeable shift in direction beyond the LCD-esque floorfillers

Although co-producer James Murphy's mucky little pawprints and the influence of his erstwhile dance-punk outfit LCD Soundsystem are woven through this record - and what a joyful thing that is - the band's net of influences stretches far wider than Lower East Side electro chic.

For example, 'Flashbulb Eyes' has more than a hint of a reggae beat. Elsewhere, 'Normal Person' and 'Joan of Arc' both hark back to glam rock's glory days.

4. Subtle references to the band's back catalogue

Whether it's a flicker of organ here ('We Exist'), or a flurry of strings there ('After Life'), there are more than enough nods to Arcade Fire's past fare on Reflektor - hopefully keeping long-term devotees happy. There are one or two of the more ragged, guitar-led tracks on Side A of the record that wouldn't be out of place on its predecessor The Suburbs.

Arcade Fire 'Reflektor' artwork
5. Spellbinding vocals that will chill your core. In a good way.

When Régine Chassagne first coos "Entre la nuit, la nuit et l'aurore" on the title track, it gave us the shivers. One of the band's strengths has always been the vocal interplay between Chassagne and her partner in marriage and music Win Butler - and without wishing to go into too much spoilery detail at this stage, there are many more such moments on this record that will make your heart skip a beat.

6. A potentially divisive closing track.

'Supersymmetry' is 11 minutes long. You will either love it on first listen, or wonder what the hell is going on. That's all we're going to say for now.

Arcade Fire release Reflektor on Monday, October 28.

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