October 29, 2013
Remember when Arcade Fire sounded like Thunder Road-era Springsteen? They don't sound like that anymore.
Yesterday evening, several thousand bundled Angelenos descended upon a parking lot in Hollywood to hear the Canadian band's new-ish sound. Reflektor, their fourth album, was released yesterday to reviews both fawning and gleefully cruel. But whatever the case, it's what drew everyone to the front of Capitol Records to watch the band play on a rooftop.
So, was it good?
The crowd was certainly ready; they were encouraged to "be a Reflektor," which meant lots of shiny silver and gold outfits. They embraced this spirit -- it helped that it's Halloween week -- and there were many silver jackets, sequins, sparkles, wigs and masks. A few people decorated themselves with CDs, one guy was wearing one of those silver Myler thermal blankets as a cape, and another dude just taped a mirror to his back.
The band, all seven of them, came out onto the roof at 6:40, just after sunset, dressed in various gold and silver suits and dresses. They launched straight into the album's title track and lead single, illustrating their now-dancier sound.
While Funeral and Neon Bible featured full-on 'ridin' out tonight to case the promised land' anthems, 2010's The Suburbs found the group in a mellower state of nostalgia. If their first albums focused on taking on the world, The Suburbs went home again.
Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that it was co-produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundystem, who gave the LP a foundation of four on the floor synth, with moments of Black Keys-ish blues guitar rock.