Not-so-fresh off their surprising but well-deserved 2011 Grammy win for Album of the Year, Arcade Fire return with Reflektor. It’s a sprawling, epically ambitious art rock album that spans the equivalent of two discs and incorporates Caribbean rhythms, a whole lot of reverb, and the dance chops of James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.
It sounds like an insane amalgam of a hundred bands you’re familiar with and yet it sounds completely new — and it is without a doubt the most daring and imaginative record we’ve heard from a top-prize Grammy-winning band maybe since U2 won for The Joshua Tree in 1988 and came back a couple of years later with the thoroughly alien-sounding Achtung Baby.
The band has posted the entire new record to stream on YouTube, set to images from Marcel Camus’s 1959 film Black Orpheus. While it can drag in spots, it’s absolutely worth taking in from start to finish.
This is Reflektor.