2013 Albums of the Year: Arcade Fire – Reflektor

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The Telescope presents: the top albums of 2013. We gathered best-of lists from staff and contributors, crunched some numbers and came up with twelve records that unanimously wowed us this year.

No year-end list would be complete without mention of Arcade Fire’s Reflektor (Merge).

There was a lot of buzz surrounding this release; secret shows, band aliases, album leaks. That can often lead to a giant letdown once the final work is ready for the public – will the album live up to all of the hype? The answer to this question is yes, and Reflektor delivered in spades.

The carnival influence that inspired the band this time around is peppered throughout the album, most notably in tracks like “Here Comes the Night Time”, and true to form, there is zero repetition of sounds that worked for them in the past.  This is definitely not a repeat of the Grammy-winning The Suburbs.

But I’ve always found that the truest way to identify an outstanding album is by using the “rotating favourites” factor.  “Reflektor” was on repeat when it first came out, then followed by “Joan of Arc” (the shout-along element to that song is just fantastic), but lately, I’m starting to want to listen to “Flashbulb Eyes” over and over.  That will likely change again in a couple of weeks: even though we’ve started 2014, this release will remain in heavy rotation.

-Michelle Farres

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