Albums to watch


Arcade Fire


Album No.4 from the Canadian indie rock band led by husband-and-wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, a double-LP release with James Murphy helping out regular collaborator Markus Dravs on production duties

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Merge / Mercury
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  1. 9.5 |   Prefix

    There is so, so much content, so beautifully and flawlessly presented that it can be baffling at times
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  2. 9.2 |   Pitchfork

    Reflektor unfolds over two discs, and which you prefer will depend on how many packets of earnest magnificence you take in your Arcade Fire. Disc 1 is raw and grounded; Disc 2 is airier, more cosmic, and a little less self-aware
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  3. 9.1 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    This is music that moves the body along with the spirit, a damn fine step in the right direction
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  4. 9.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Four for four
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  5. 9.0 |   Rolling Stone

    A thrilling act of risk and renewal by a band with established commercial appeal and a greater fear of the average
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  6. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    If The Suburbs gave us solidarity in our little agonies, then this follow-up gives us a delusional cult to follow into the darkness
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  7. 9.0 |   Slant Magazine

    The band certainly hasn't left rock behind, but they've found a way to push beyond a sense of exhaustion with the resources that the genre has to offer, while at the same time reflecting on the tenuousness of interpersonal connection in an age of hyper-evolving technology
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  8. 8.7 |   Billboard

    This is still an Arcade Fire album through and through - just injected with heavy dance grooves, so that it sounds like a new-millennium response to the Talking Heads' landmark, Brian Eno-produced album, "Remain In Light"
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  9. 8.5 |   The 405

    Reflektor is an album to be devoured several times over
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  10. 8.5 |   The Quietus

    Four albums in, their sound glitters with many facets and possibilities – they can be proud of how it reflects on them
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  11. 8.0 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    There are enough interesting motifs and musical adventuring on Reflektor that the negatives seem inconsequential on the whole. Is it the perfect album fans have been waiting for since Funeral? No, and Arcade Fire will probably never make a perfect record
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  12. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    It’s overlong, but worth the time investment
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  13. 8.0 |   Independent on Sunday

    Big only because Arcade Fire think big, Reflektor stretches stadium rock’s reach in the acts of self-reinvention and revitalisation. Now that’s entertainment
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  14. 8.0 |   The Observer

    This should all make for an astonishing album, an opus of 2013. Since every track outstays its welcome by a couple of minutes it makes for a merely very, very good one instead
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  15. 8.0 |   Spin

    Reflektor is long and weird and indulgent and deeply committed. It has three to five genuinely great songs; it also wanders off into the filler hinterlands for 20 minutes or so (out of 70)
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  16. 8.0 |   NME

    Cleaner, sharper and dancier than anything the band have done before
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  17. 8.0 |   State

    Arcade Fire’s most ambitious, daring and downright danceable collection yet
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  18. 8.0 |   DIY

    This is the new, rejuvenated Arcade Fire; past thrown to one side, only eyes ahead. Here's to the future
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  19. 8.0 |   Time Out

    If 2010’s ‘The Suburbs’ lyrically captured the emotions of coming home, ‘Reflektor’ looks out of the band’s double glazed windows and into our impending future, Win Butler’s vocals often detached as if he were the messenger of an omen
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  20. 8.0 |   Daily Telegraph

    It is exhaustingly, daringly, bafflingly brilliant, but you might want to lie down in a dark room after listening
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  21. 8.0 |   The Fly

    While it’s too long – so long, in fact, that you’ll forget your own name and nationality – its scale immerses you entirely in Arcade Fire’s universe
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  22. 8.0 |   Mojo

    An act of rejuvenation few at their level manage with conviction. Print edition only

  23. 8.0 |   The Independent

    It's a brave and sometimes baffling album, broaching difficult themes
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  24. 8.0 |   The Digital Fix

    Some people seem to think it’s too long but I rather like it
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  25. 7.5 |   A.V. Club

    Listen closely enough to Reflektor—and give it the patience that clearly went into its recording—and that old Arcade Fire burns. It’s just a different kind of flame
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  26. 7.2 |   Paste Magazine

    Yes, Reflektor is very well an intellectual triumph, but—in a first for this band—it’s almost never an emotional one
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  27. 7.0 |   FasterLouder

    Reflektor is the sound of a few goofballs throwing themselves a well-deserved party, present are the requisite anxieties that go hand in hand with playing host
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  28. 7.0 |   No Ripcord

    Rock n’ roll is still in a worrying state, and they’re just as unsure about whether or not it’s a viable course to take in the future. But if any one act is worth betting for its sustainability it's Arcade Fire
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  29. 7.0 |   Fact

    The sound of an act who, almost uniformly across the album, and for the first time in their careers, are playing as a band. Instead of simply throwing 10 instruments into the mix in service to some hurtling expansion
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  30. 7.0 |   music OMH

    Reflektor is an artistic gamble from Arcade Fire; a bold statement from a band less intent on competing with their contemporaries and who, instead, focus on doing what they want to do, which this time round seems to be to dance
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  31. 7.0 |   All Music

    As fascinating as it is frustrating, an oddly compelling miasma of big pop moments and empty sonic vistas that offers up a (full-size) snapshot of a band at its commerical peak, trying to establish eye contact from atop a mountain
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  32. 7.0 |   Loud And Quiet

    At eighty minutes, it’s firmly in that often-dodgy double-album territory, but the band’s seal rings though this opus in every note
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  33. 7.0 |   Uncut

    While the overall sound is massive, it's become somewhat restricted in tone and texture, most tracks careering towards climaxes of cacophonous synth whines and heavy rock guitars, a narrower palette than on previous albums
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  34. 6.5 |   Under The Radar

    It's wildly uneven, and contains more flat-out bellyflops than any of the band's previous works; it's also endlessly fascinating. Far from perfect, it's worthy of heavy exploration
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  35. 6.0 |   PopMatters

    Catchy excitement and impressive pop rock which slowly rolls downhill into the murky sonic depths of the more somber second half without any truly punctuating final moment of the record itself
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  36. 6.0 |   Q

    It's a wobble on a podium, a needless error of judgement that could have been easily avoided. Print edition only

  37. 6.0 |   The Irish Times

    An enjoyable, if unnecessarily overlong, progression
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  38. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    It sounds like the work of a band that have plenty of good ideas, but increasingly can't tell them from their bad ones – or won't be told
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  39. 6.0 |

    Clocking in at over 75 minutes, Reflektor is overlong but doesn't necessarily overstay its welcome - it just serves to highlight the length of time between the album's sparse highlights
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  40. 4.0 |   The Skinny

    Here’s a band at play, but making music that is never really playful enough to charm, thrill, and engage in the way only they knew how
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  41. 4.0 |   Clash

    Undercooked electronics, impotent rhetoric, too-familiar crescendo-ing structures and an overall feeling that this needs further post-production attention render Reflektor an entirely substandard album
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  42. 4.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    It’s hard to figure out why Reflektor has turned out such a disappointing mess
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  43. 3.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Arcade Fire are a big glittery alt. rock name, who appear to have run out of steam
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Arcade Fire: Reflektor

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