Back with the same level of quality, and the critics concur.
2013 has been the year of the comeback. The Rolling Stones did it, triumphantly. Bowie did it too, shocking everyone with an unannounced renaissance, one that lead to a Mercury nomination. But more contemporary artists, with roots in the younger demographic have returned too, like Daft Punk, and Arcade Fire.
They're back, and they haven't relented on quality
The Montreal rockers permeated the eardrums of rebellious school kids, indie hipsters and nostalgic parents simultaneously, and as they approached their follow up to The Suburbs, Grammy in hand and a reputation to uphold, they could have been forgiven for succumbing to the increased pressure.
Sales are one way to benchmark a band’s success, but considering Robin Thicke is one of the biggest selling artists of the year, it’s clearly not the most accurate. Instead, we turn to an army of keen writers, paid in the art of criticism.
These guys; they think Reflektor is amongst the Arcade Fire’s best work.
“While the first disc winds its way sporadically through the humid alleys and hazy bars of a multi-dimensional shantytown, the second half explodes outward upon the magnificent vista of symphonic discotheque,” write Tiny Mix Tapes.
Rolling Stone were complimentary indeed: “Reflektor is closer to turning-point classics such as U2's Achtung Baby and Radiohead's Kid A--a thrilling act of risk and renewal by a band with established commercial appeal and a greater fear of the average, of merely being liked.”
"They've given us something in the present tense that, these days, feels depressingly unfashionable: An Event--an album that dares to be great, and remarkably succeeds," say the ever-popular Pitchfork.
Mojo gave the album four stars. "Despite the lulls,” goes their review, “the resistance to ending songs, Reflektor lets Arcade Fire shed expectations along with a skin, an act of rejuvenation few at their level manage with conviction.”
“At 75 minutes, the record's an investment, especially if you're not down with being included in the album's many us-versus-them scenarios. As has long been the case, the band's lyrics often rely on the first-person plural "we," as if the listener is a member of some amazing, and unfairly ostracized, secret community.”
With an overall score of 81 on Metacritic, this is clearly one of the albums of the year, now all we have to do is sit back and listen to an endless spree of Arcade Fire Glastonbury rumors.