Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire’s fourth studio album Reflektor shows how the band is still able to evolve and develop their sound following their grammy award winning album The Suburbs (2011) and their critically acclaimed debut Funeral (2004).
On October 23 physical copies of Reflektor shipped to record stores across the world and unsurprisingly the album leaked onto the Internet the very same day. It was alleged that Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny, Ireland began selling the record as soon as copies arrived (nearly a week ahead of the October 29 release date). In response Arcade Fire made a full stream of the album available on YouTube, many other music services and publications followed the trend and by the weekend the album was easy to find.
Arcade Fire had been hyping the release of Reflektor for months with a guerilla advertising campaign in cities across North America, a performance on Saturday Night Live, and several promos and music videos. Anticipation for this album was high, particularly considering the previous album The Suburbs had won album of the year at the Grammy’s and Juno Awards. Reviews have been skewed because of a preconceived notion that this album was going to be the band’s masterpiece. Because Reflektor presents a more experimental and dance toned sound compared to Arcade Fire’s previous combination of unexpected instrumentation and emotional vocal styling and lyricism many people weren’t sure whether to love the change based on expectations of greatness or to reject it as an abject failure.
Reflektor is based off of a stretch of time that the band spent in the island-nation of Haiti and thus it blends tones and instrumentation of the Caribbean with the bands indie rock sound. James Murphy, formally of defunct LCD Soundsystem, produced the album and blended his style of longer rhythmic tracks into the 75-minute album.
The album will be available in record stores tomorrow, October 29.