For the longest time I was turned off from anything Indie. If it had potential to be found in Forever 21, Starbucks, or anything else of that dimension, I didn’t want to be near it. Perhaps it was the monotony of the same tones, and vocal styles. Or maybe it was how I realize how pretentious those I associated with were. However, after going on my binge of nothing but hardcore, metal, and everything else that involved screaming. I figured it was time to give what used to give me joy, another shot.
Best idea I’ve had in a very long time.
Arcade Fire’s senior release of Reflektor is an album of catchy Indie music, with strong structure and misdirection. What I figured was going to be a typical indie album, and repetition of what we’ve heard in the past. Turned out to be one of the catchiest and grooviest albums of the year. With a strong bass line, disco style drums it gives a very grooving feel. Then switching to a strong rock drive that keeps it interesting.
Opening with Reflektor, we’re put into a smooth drive of alternating energy. With catchy key work, and a disco styled drum pattern that will keep the song going. From the mellow verses to the layered chorus of energy, this sets the bar moderately high for the rest of the album. Next we are presented with We Exist, with a bass line that stands out and will continue to stand out through the rest of the album. Keeping that mellow, yet hypnotizing tone that keeps you from experiencing a dull moment that we experienced from Reflektor. Here Comes The Night kicks right in with a snare roll that sets you up for a fast paced song. Then quickly turning into a slow mellow song again. At first it may seem anticlimactic, however this subliminal banger quickly becomes one of the shining tracks on the album. With it’s night time feel, and Win Butler’s soothing vocals and lyrics. Awkwardly yet comfortably, they pick up towards the end of the track with the tempo they start off with, then end in the same soothing feel that was held. Normal Person switches from the mellow grooves, to a relaxed rock sound. Then exploding into a loud, energetic chorus, with a lead riff that will be stuck in your head for days. The song unlike the others before it ends with it’s high energy and keeps it until the very end. You Already Know keeps the rock flow continuing, and the night style atmosphere constant. With the bands ability to carry on strong, and Butler’s voice keeping it soft. Joan of Arc is another track that really stands out. Just like Here Comes The Night, we start off with a fast paced intro, transitioning into a slow drum beat. Lyrically this song is the one of my favorites. Switching from languages and going from long and quick sentences, to short held out ones. They end abruptly with a distortion and an eerie synth, that really changes the feel of the album.
Here Comes The Night II brings this ascending feeling. Creating a soft and floating atmosphere, unlike the first part of the album. Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice) keeps this feeling going. Drifting from the strong grooves and focusing on melodies and a soft but powerful feeling. Porno kicks into a bouncy, familiar feel we experience. Yet separating itself from the rest of the tracks by being slightly different from all the others. Supersymmetry concludes the album with the same soft ascending feel. Ending on a soft and very pleasant note, until everything turns into another eerie mash up of sounds.
The album does have it’s share of monotony. Even though they do change up the tempo in songs, sometimes it still sounds like the same thing you’ve heard before. The long song times can alse be intimidating; in some cases the lengths feel needless. I didn’t think of it as annoying though. In fact, I found it a very pleasing record. Arcade Fire once again has impressed me, and reminded me why Indie hasn’t exactly died. This album is definitely one that will make you want to get up and dance. Or for those of you who are too cool, your foot will be tapping along with the pace.
Please don’t forget to support the artist and pick up the album if you like it!
Written by: Jon Parfitt – November 10th, 2013