For years, I lived in complacent, blissful ignorance toward the soul-stealing apparatus which currently gazes menacingly upon me as I type away on my laptop. It was not until I discovered Arcade Fire’s 2013 Reflektor that I discovered the fact that cameras are (potentially) as to souls as dust busters are to… well… dust. Reflektor changed my life in manners far greater than its raising of suspicion in my mind towards cameras of all sorts (lookin’ at you, NSA); it brought my attention to a band which would transform the manner in which I look at music and the world. In the autumn of 2013, I was relatively interested in music, yet I held only a surface appreciation for the music I enjoyed. Much like a cake enthusiast with a frosting fetish, I knew there was some tasty stuff underneath the sugary, colorful surface… but I wasn’t too excited to dive in. ‘Twas not until I watched some unimportant (of course, I am assuming it was unimportant because for the life of me I can’t remember what it was) YouTube video soon after the release of Reflektor that this surface-appreciation would begin to transform. Before I would be permitted to watch the aforementioned unimportant video, however, I was fettered with a particularly cruel and unusual punishment: a non-skippable YouTube ad. This ad was a mysterious, pseudo-spooky ad for Reflektor, centered around an intimate, nearly too intimate for a mere non-Arcade Fire fan as I was, close up of lead singer Win Butler singing a threatening song which warned me to “get right before I die.” As would any sensible individual having received such a cryptic threat, I was equally intrigued and deterred from exploring the music of these game center arsonists. When I noticed multiple references to this “Arcade Fire” from authorities in whom I placed enormous trust- Stephen Colbert and Jim Halpert from their respective TV shows- I trusted that the band which foretold my impending death might be worthy of exploration and reflektion. This introspective exploration, of course, consisted of finding the most popular Arcade Fire song on YouTube and deciding whether or not its frosting was tasty enough for my liking. Luckily for me, this top song, “The Suburbs,” was indeed catchy, but its frosting existed in a thin layer. With my first bite, I got a taste of the cake. I began to wonder what these suburbs were about; how they, on a deeper, fudge-filled center level, portrayed with poignant emotion and adroit symbolism the struggles of formative teenage years and the life which follows them; how struggle and pain must be held, must be felt, and must be used to strengthen oneself, because too often as you get older skin gets thicker, you move past the feelings of your past. Sometimes you can’t believe it… but you’re moving past the feeling. “The Suburbs,” The Suburbs, and Arcade Fire as a whole taught me to treasure emotion of all varieties, no matter my age. They have powerfully demonstrated to me that emotion is the core, the very essence of humanity; we cannot let it go. I am forever grateful for the arsonists’ entry into my life, and I know that they have helped me get right as a music fan (my musical taste buds thereafter conformed to a strong proclivity to and adoration of cake, filling, and frosting alike), as a camera-phobic, and as a total individual. The song which both introduced me to my now favorite band and threatened me with death, “Get Right,” was released on September’s Deluxe Edition of Reflektor. I can see no opportunity more prime than this recent(ish) release to express my gratitude towards this beautiful band. I wholeheartedly recommend that all readers of the Tribune explore the works of Arcade Fire. If you hope to take the route to complete obsession as I have, might I recommend you “Get Right” and give the deluxe edition of Reflektor a listen.
I hope that every reference of an album on the Tribune shall be concluded with a derivation from a classic Ezra Koenig tweet as in the following sentence.
ICYMI Arcade Fire Reflektor (Deluxe) out now.