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coverpic flag Canada - Full Moon 211 - 11/17/13

Arcade Fire
Reflektor
Merge

Montreal: '...named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill located in the heart of the city. According to one theory, the name derives from Mont Rèal, as it was spelled in Middle French (Mont Royal in modern French).' (wikipedia)

Some nine years after their stunning debut album Funeral comes Reflektor, their 4th album, bringing the Montrealites to the top of the world. Well, at least to the top of the Billboard 200, selling 140,000 copies in its first week. From the peak of the Billboard list they can spot Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas, and Drake, making this the top five. This is in fact the band's second No. 1 album, as 2010's The Suburbs went to the top as well. Anyway, I've never, ever trusted lists as a mark of quality.

So, in what direction goes Reflektor? I must admit to have skipped/slipped the band after Funeral, and I've just briefly listened in on Neon Bible (2007) and The Suburbs (2010). Am I allowed to have any opinions or viewpoints concerning a band's 4th album, which have taken them a long way from where they started? And; from back where and when I started to listen to their music. Being co-produced by James Murphy (former LCD Soundsystem frontman, DJ, and co-founder of DFA Records), one might expect some wild electronic disco-dance-punk coming out of the speakers, or what? I guess this is a typical love/hate album. It is either/or. For now I go for 'or'. InDiscoe, right? Well, the opener - the title track - is a bit funky styled almost like Talking Heads used to be. Then the album sounds like Arcade Fire want to be Simple Minds, or Depeche Mode, or... I don't know. BUT, the biggest problem is: Reflektor is 65 minutes long. 1 hour 15 minutes! That is offensive, almost criminal. Sooo..., well, here are some teasing, tempting moments as well, such as "Normal Person" and the Pulp-ish "Here Comes The Night Time". There are a few more, yes. Is it growing? Is there any hidden potential? Could the hatred turn? It might be so. Maybe I need some more time. Or, maybe not.

Well, yes, Arcade Fire have changed rather drastically. The times they are a changing for sure. I am not sure what to say, what to believe. The music is triple-peaked, an it's dizzying. Do I like it, do I like it not? (Yoda I am) Sometimes it is hard to make up your mind, but I am in doubt. Quebecois, Quebecoise, what have you done? As the French in Montreal say: "Ne pogne pas les nerfs!".

Copyright © 2013 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Arcade Fire articles/reviews: Funeral, Neon Bible.

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