9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Reflektor (Audio CD)
Reflektor, is many things to my newbie ears, this being my first AF cd- many of them enjoyable. I first came to know them from their contribution to the Hunger Games soundtrack, Abraham's Daughter, which was one of the best tracks on the cd. The first thing that struck me about Reflektor was all the lyrical imagery and references to not only the classic Orpheus myth but the film Black Orpheus as well. I won't bog you down with the details of the tale, but treat yourself to a quick refresh to help frame the context of the songs. Even if you don't, the album remains quite enjoyable.
The entire album keeps a seventies-ish, riding-the-cusp-of-disco avant-garde groove to it and the ever-present reverb and other assorted dissonant sounds mixed in are kind of like how Portishead used to do. Reflektor brought to mind classic efforts from bands like The Clash, Norman Greenbaum and even the Beatles among others.
The title track, Reflektor, is fun to listen to, if a little long- built off a steady beat and bassline you can easily get with.
Flashbulb Eyes- a little surfer-style rhythm guitar, snare drums, some FX... but all I can really say is you're gonna love the old skool reggae bass running through this one.
Here Comes the Nighttime- an absolute slice of Black Orpheus here. Its ska-styled bass and keyboard bottom, filtering, xylophone, and isolated guitar riff absolutely evoke images of strutting down the street during carnival somewhere, especially when the tempo shifts- the bassline carries the whole thing. Awesome.
Normal Person- off to a fun start with some nightclub dialogue before switching to a true classic style; bass, rhythm guitar and drum with some piano included. And the the lyrics were fun. All told it not only reminded me of David Bowie in his prime but kinda White Stripe-y as well.
Joan Of Arc- very Norman Greenbaum-ish here, and not just for the quasi-religious overtones of the lyrics. There's a definite Spirit in the Sky thing going on here.
Here Comes the Nighttime 2- any song that incorporates them old Dolby Digital tones used at the start and end of cassette tapes is alright with me! The lyric structure and synth arrangement here are eerily reminiscent of the Beatles' A Day In The Life. Check it out and see if you agree.
It's Never Over (Oh, Orpheus)- slowly builds up from airy synth into a bass/bottom rhythm, soon followed by a great drum/guitar combo. The lyrics are wholly derived from the Orpheus myth (...just wait until it's over/wait until it's through... no turning 'round too soon). And that's a nice pulse beat bridge dropped in before coming back to the instruments.
Supersymmetry- wholly a keyboard composition, the half-whispered lyrics of the duet strikes yet another chord, this time the Rolling Stone's Emotional Rescue. Even the chorus is done in a similar vein.
You might think I'm calling this album derivative, but I'm not. I rather enjoyed the trip down memory lane it provided- intentionally or not. Even if they've consciously drawn references from other groups, as they did with the Greek myth, I'm not complaining. It all made for a good listen and brought a new fan.