by Andrew Sacher

Arcade Fire

As you may know if you have a computer, television, or go out in public sometimes, the fourth Arcade Fire album, Reflektor, comes out next week (10/29) via Merge (pre-order). It'll be on NPR's "First Listen" this Monday (10/28), though they'll be performing its songs for a live broadcast at 10 PM EST rather than simply streaming the album. But perhaps you've heard it already, because word is it leaked. UPDATE: It's now streaming in full (set to cinematography of the great 1959 film, Black Orpheus), listen below.

So far, I think it's a fascinating album, especially coming from Arcade Fire. Tons of bands with debuts as fully realized and brilliantly executed as Funeral start dying down after the initial hype, but Arcade Fire actually won a Grammy six years later for an also-great, if not slightly safer and more reserved album. From there, they could have easily continued riding that success with an even safer and more reserved album, calculated to please the Grammys all over again, but instead they took a left turn into uncharted Arcade Fire territory. A lot of people have been talking about how it's dancier, and it is a little bit, but not any more than "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)." More than anything, it feels like this album's predecessors are albums like Talking Heads' Remain In Light or David Bowie's Low (James Murphy produced, remember), other albums by could-be arena rockers choosing to experiment with new textures and otherworldly melodies instead.

What do you think of Reflektor? Listen below, and let us know in the comments...

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Arcade Fire - Reflektor Full Album Stream

Arcade Fire - "Reflektor"

Arcade Fire - "Afterlife"