Music Review | posted 08.11.2013
Arcade Fire
Reflektor
Merge, 2013
Text Patrick Cavaleiro , Translation Julia Frohn
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Editorial
Cover Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Arcade Fire had reached a somewhat sacrosanct position after having released their previous record »The Suburbs«. Their alleged ability to achieve consensus had positioned them among such great heights that no one got away with criticizing them. True to the motto: If everyone likes it, it simply cannot be bad. Full stop. Hence, those who did utter some shy criticism had to be evil, jealous or a spoilsport. That might be true, yet it doesn’t change different people’s attitudes towards Arcade Fire. And no matter what that attitude is: It’s time to acknowledge the fact that Arcade Fire is undergoing a radical change. They are leaving behind their whiny and maudlin dirges, their folky stadium epicness, and instead are trying to aim for the clubs – successfully so. James Murphy, who used to be a bouncer in younger years and who has become the pope of indie-dance, helped them to get in by leaving the band’s violins, accordions and hurdy-gurdys at the cloakroom and giving them drum machines, synthesizers and effect units instead. Beats, groove, noise, irony, sex: All these are things one wouldn’t suspect among the repertoire of the usually rather dry Canadians – and yet, all these things are to be heard on »Reflektor«, as well as on the – admittedly – great eponymous first single. Some things are still the same, though. The fear, running as a leitmotif through their discography, is becoming more apparent the longer the record goes on. And still, even the hymnal moments (like in »Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)«) are much more endurable thanks to their new self-confidence. Speaking of Greek mythology: Just like Orpheus and Eurydike, who can be seen on the album’s cover, the record itself can look forward to a happy end, brought to us through the closer »Supersymmetry« – a duet by the married front-couple Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. In the lingo of the physical field of supersymmetry, parts that turn into one another through a major transformation are called “superpartner”. And that’s exactly the kind of kitsch the fans are looking for. The only question remaining is how the consensus-mob, who might be affronted by this record, will react to it all.
You can find »Reflektor« by Arcade Fire at hhv.de. 2LP-US und 2LP-US
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