An Analysis of Arcade Fire’s Single “Reflektor”

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The Canadian based band Arcade Fire have released their first single, the album’s title song “Reflektor”, alongside an incredibly visually attractive and interactive music video, providing a wonderful glimpse of their up-coming album. The title track is also the first track on the album, and through it’s musical composition and lyrical arrangement, the band gives us an astounding perspective on how they have continually improved their sound while staying true to their previous work.

Here’s a quick break down of why Arcade Fire’s new album will be worth the listen.

“Reflektor” immediately launches into an irresistibly catchy tune almost impossible to keep from tapping your foot to, or straight up dancing.

The first verse opens with Win, the lead male vocalist and husband of lead female vocalist, Regine Chassagne. “We fell in love, alone on a stage in the reflective age,” Win sings. Regine responds in the Pre-Chorus singing in French, “Entre la nuit, la nuit et l’aurore. Entre le royaume des vivants et des morts,” roughly translated as, “Between the night, night and dawn. Between the realm of the living and the dead.” The husband and wife duo sing to each other before the Chorus, implying the concept of their love as being a distortion via the reflector.

Verse 2 is directed to the listener, “Now, the signals we send, are deflected again. We’re still connected, but are we even friends?” This statement asks the listener if they’re even friends if the original message is deflected in the original concept.

Verse 3 then examines how the medium, in which this very song is presented, distorts the original, “Our song escapes, on little silver discs. Our love is plastic; we’ll break it to bits. I want to break free, but will they break me down?”

Here the couple specifically points to how their music in Verse 1 literally “escapes” onto these mediums in the form of CDs, and even worse, digital files.

Ultimately, the song ends by placing the interpretive responsibilities in the listener’s lap. The interactive video specifically does this as at the end of the song the video is totally under the listener/viewers control. “It’s a Reflektor, just a Reflektor, Will I see you on the other side?” Arcade Fire has given us an amazing single that stands by itself as a remarkable achievement in creating a statement on the connection between the musician and audience, a connection that has been degrading ever since the evolution of digital file sharing. Will you see Arcade Fire on the other side?

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