Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Culture

Reflektor / Arcade Fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

The long-awaited album turns out to have an impressive soundscape, but is jaded by unnecessarily long songs.

 

Given that we’ve been waiting for new Arcade Fire since 2010, is it really any wonder that Reflektor has already wormed its way into our heads? The band’s Youtube leak of the album has led to mass hype, a crowd of indie kids crawling over themselves, and a ‘Marmite split’ across the board, especially in light of this year’s stellar releases. With the release of the single, we realised that Arcade Fire’s days as a happy streamer-twirling, rowdy party-on-stage bunch, may well be over – not that that’s a bad thing.

Following Markus Dravs’ reign of production, James Murphy has taken over – front to back of this album. A self-proclaimed Bowie enthusiast, he managed to procure the man himself for the single (if only briefly), and follow in his footsteps with… pretty much everything else. Reflektor starts with Chassagne and Butler’s sultry harmonies: “if this is heaven / I just need something more / I need something more / just a place to be alone”, she croons, beckoning the chorus and some super-glitchy synths and eighties-style bursts. It’s kind of like being in a vortex. Maybe. Is that an organ? Christ. It’s a bit like a mental ascent, but wait! The track’s over, and we plunge into bass city with We Exist. What’s even going on? 

A conclusion on the matter: this album is nearly one and a half hours long. One and a half hours. That’s longer than Daft Punk’s RAM, and I thought that was something only Daft Punk could get away with. See, the problem here isn’t that there’s a problem – it’s more that while every song is fantastic, this album goes from ‘brilliant’, to ‘very good’, with an unnecessary couple of minutes tacked on the end of most of the songs.

Which brings me to this: a fade-out? On the second track? Kinda weak, no? Well, not really, because Flashbulb Eyes is a crashing throwback to dub reggae. From here on out, it becomes incredibly obvious that Murphy misses LCD Soundsystem, because the rest of the album is a huge soundscape investigation into sparse funk, intermingled with spicy grunge, homage to Neon Bible, and little swing tricks (You Already Know).

This album might feel like it never ends, but Reflektor is a bizarre experiment in intimacy that will leave you unsure of whether to dance haphazardly or lie down. Talk about art rock.

King's College London. Award-winning student newspaper, a platform to share your story, and a publication that holds entities accountable when no one else dares.

Latest

Culture

Staff Writer Anwesh Banerjee reviews All Of Us Strangers, Andrew Haigh’s latest feature starring Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal, now playing in theatres near...

Comment

On the two year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Staff writer Rayhan Hussain recounts the key events of the conflict and gives an...

SHAG Week banner SHAG Week banner

KCLSU & Societies

Roar talks to Victoria, a Student Wellbeing and Welfare Manager, about KCLSU’s 2024 SHAG week. Sexual Health and Guidance Week, stylised as SHAG Week,...

A PA meeting in Scandinavia A PA meeting in Scandinavia

Alumni

Editor-in-Chief Fintan Hogan profiles a charity which supports aspiring students who would be otherwise unable to attend top universities. Project Access (PA) was founded...

R-rated Culture

In this episode of Roar News Round-Up, Daisy Eastlake brings us up-to-date on the latest KCL Conservative Association controversy. We’re also joined by Anwesh...

KCLSU & Societies

Roar talks to Victoria, a Student Wellbeing and Welfare Manager, about KCLSU’s 2024 SHAG week. Sexual Health and Guidance Week, stylised as SHAG Week,...

Culture

Staff Writer Mina Yasar recommends a London tour for art lovers to embark on this February. What could be more pleasant than spending a...

London

King’s College London (KCL) has risen by two places to #46 in the world in the 2023 Times Higher Education ‘World Reputation Rankings’. The...