Arcade Fire Reflektor.
The way Butler and Chassagne, who are married, sing those lines in "Reflektor" is a sublime moment in the commotion. It is also a perfect summary of their group's still-fervent indie-born hunger after a decade of mainstream success, and specifically, the decisive, indulgent ambition on Reflektor: a two-record, 75-minute set of 13 songs and the best album Arcade Fire have ever made. Founded in 2003, the Montreal-based band – which includes multi-instrumentalists Richard Reed Parry and Butler's brother Will, bassist Tim Kingsbury and drummer Jeremy Gara – has always thought and acted big, using serious echo and drum-circle-like percussion to amplify the emotional mysteries in Win's U2-meets-elliptical-Springsteen writing. Arcade Fire's third album, 2010's The Suburbs, was urgent and clear, a record about dreams and escape, gassed with classic-rock punch. It was a Number One hit and rightly won a Grammy for Album of the Year.
Reflektor is even better, for this reason: the jarring, charging union of Murphy's modern-dance acumen and post-punk sabotage with Arcade Fire's natural gallop and ease with Caribbean rhythm. (Chassagne is of Haitian descent; she and Butler have been active in relief efforts there.) Murphy worked on all but two songs, with most of those tracks near or over six minutes long. The result is an epic made for dancing and sequenced like whiplash. "We Exist" rolls like the pop-leaning late-Eighties Cure, then butts into the paranoid mule-kick reggae of "Flashbulb Eyes." "Here Comes the Night Time" abruptly zigzags between rapid Haitian drumming and a Talking Heads-at-the-beach stroll – as if Murphy and the band can't decide which night they like best – while "You Already Know" is buoyant New Wave Motown, with Chassagne's half of the call-response chorus sparkling in the reverb. That song has to be a single. It ought to be a hit. Rolling StoneArcade Fire Reflektor
Sublime moment in the commotion
Still-fervent indie-born hunger after a decade of mainstream success