LM’s Music Corner: Introduction

Alternative news platform needs alternative music.I am presenting you my first music album review –Reflektor by Arcade Fire.


“If this is heaven, I don’t know what it is for… If I can’t find you there, I don’t care.”

A tone of dopamine freed by discovering and listening to different musicians has been making me feel tremendously and surprisingly great lately – more than ever before. The music’s ability to create the state of satisfaction could be paralleled to the pleasure experienced when eating something enormously scrumptious, or to the sexual gratification. The music and its effect on our brains have been long researched and described by neuroscientists. The feeling of happiness that the music triggers in us is explained to be due to the already named dopamine, a neurotransmitter – released by nerve cells – that help to control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres.

But who cares about numerous researches if you are not the one who experiences the pleasure? So, I have thought, if the music I listen to makes me massively happy, why not to share it with others? I have decided to write music album reviews of some musicians I already know and love, or the ones I am discovering, or will discover. The music experience is of course very subjective, and depends on one’s music tastes, and/or cultural and personal experiences. However, in my reviews I will talk about alternative music albums, the ones that really blow me away, leave me hysterical to get more, trigger the state of arousal in me and force me to think that I – an ordinary citizen of a huge world – am capable of reshaping the world, even if my contribution is limited to a speck of dust.

“Why alternative music?” you could ask. A few years ago, a friend suggested me to listen to his favourite albums. I did. They were totally different from what I knew. Having my ears and heart wide open I began discovering a world of strange and lovely sounds. The music left me perplexed, sometimes troubled, sometimes fascinated, but always stunned and happy.

I thought that an alternative news platform needs alternative music. Music far from plain, poor and repetitive rhythms – a cheap product stuffed with violent, misogynistic or sexually explicit lyrics. If you add videos of shaky bums, dancing boobs and obscene scenes to that, one is ashamed of labelling them as “music.”

Thus as a fledgling music critic – (for that I hope to be pardoned for my errors and inexperienced style), I am presenting you with my first album review – the “Reflektor.”

“Reflektor” is the most recent album of one of the greatest indie rock bands of all ages – Arcade Fire. It is a Canadian band, consisting of a wife and a husband – Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, along with four others. The band is also accompanied by several other musicians during their tours. The members are extremely talented guys, who play many instruments, (some I did not even know existed), such as guitar, drums, bass guitar, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboard, synthesizer, French horn, accordion, harp, mandolin, and hurdy-gurdy. Another impressive thing is that they take most of these instruments on tours.

Up to now, they have had four albums recorded (Funeral, Neon Bible, the Suburbs and the latest Reflektor) and each of them with astounding critics among the appreciators of good music. In this review I will talk about the latest album.

Reflektor is a double-disc released on October 23, 2013 on

Merge Records

. It lasts around 75 minutes, and the length of most of the tracks is more than 6 minutes. At first sight, it might seem too long, but once the songs are soaked into your heart and soul, you will not realise how the time passes and you will crave for more.

According to Arcade Fire’s vocalist the album got its inspiration from

Haitian rara

music following the vocalist Butler and his wife, multi-instrumentalist Régine’s trip to Haiti.

The album is an artistic masterpiece – from breathtaking music to a philosophical album cover. Its artwork shows an image of a progenitor of modern sculpture, French

Auguste Rodin’s

sculpture of

Orpheus and Eurydice

(a legendary musician and prophet in Greek religion and myth and his wife).  When you hold the album in your hands, you feel the magic entering your body through the pores of your skin (after you have tasted their music).

Since its release, Reflektor has had various reviews from music critics. From

Rolling Stone’s

“…a perfect summary of their group’s still-fervent indie-born hunger after a decade of mainstream success..: a two-record, 75-minute set of 13 songs and the best album Arcade Fire have ever made” to


‘s not so positive comment: “Reflektor fails to fully justify the size of it and it doesn’t end so much as unravel.”

In my humble opinion, as an inexpert music lover, this album is exclusively brilliant. It is a unique masterpiece full of many unearthly sounds.  The two discs that make the album are utterly different and musically very dense.

The first disc starts with a seven-minute-long track Reflektor, which happens to be my favourite of the whole album. The song has a guest vocal appearance of

David Bowie

, and is embellished by Regina’s eloquent and nearly whispering voice in French, singing

Entre la nuit, la nuit et l’aurore. Entre le royaume, des vivants et des morts”

(Between the night, the night and the dawn. Between the realm of the living and the dead), which brings a dash of romanticism to the dancing rhythm.

You close your eyes (if you are not driving)… Move, jump, jiggle and wiggle and head bang under the extraordinary rhythms of this song while embracing its profound lyrics of

“If this is heaven, I don’t know what it is for… If I can’t find you there, I don’t care.”

 You let me know later how you feel.

Throughout the disc you can discover (the more you listen, the more you will) various sounds, rhythms, and danceable beats. Once you are comfortable with the songs, you get ripped apart by their power, magic and beauty.

I would highly recommend the disc for urban road trips: it will tremendously boost your mood and it will breathe excitement into your life!

While the first disc enchants your brain with mostly upbeat songs and makes you dance inside and outside,

the second one starts

with “Here Comes the Night Time II” – a melancholic and gracefully beautiful track. Shut yourself away, close your eyes and daydream as much as you can! The band moves from an elegiac song to a little bit more cheerful one “Awful song (Oh Eurydice),” singing

“There is a way, we can make them pay,”

 but never rises to the level of cheerfulness of the first disc.

The fifth track – “Afterlife” is an exuberant decoration of the second cd. Watch the


made specially for this song, it will blow your mind.

The album is elegantly culminated in a harmonized “Supersymmetry” track. It does not necessarily sum up the album’s overall mood, but it is so exquisitely perfect that it leaves a pleasant aftertaste, bringing you inner peace. It is tranquil and spiritual.

To sum up the review, if you really want to breathe more delight into your life, give it a try – listen to Arcade Fire’s “


.” A little warning though: Do not rush into judgement from the first time and listen to each CD at least twice before deciding to continue (or not) this adventurous journey.

Please send me your feedback and your suggestions for future reviews.

Ana səhifəNewsLM’s Music Corner: Introduction