The Thin White Duke himself makes a brief cameo on the title track. But his presence looms larger throughout the other dozen cuts. You can hear elements of his late Berlin trilogy in the darkly decadent undertones, experimental textures and perhaps especially in Butler sometimes detached, alienated vocals. But now they dive in head first, embracing the syncopated, propulsive percussion and horns of festive rara in cuts like Here Comes the Night Time. Clearly, the influence doesn end there; the disc cover is a shot of Auguste Rodin sculpture of the pair. Plus, trying to raise your dead lover with music sure sounds like voodoo. So it all ties together. Somehow.
That much is clear from the Montreal indie rockers fourth album Reflektor (available Tuesday but streaming online now). The wildly anticipated followup to their career defining 2010 Grammy winner The Suburbs, the expansive 75 minute disc is a sprawling, gloriously messy double album of grandly joyful rebellion and rebirth that somehow manages simultaneously to defy, confound and exceed expectations. At times it feels like a reaction to its predecessor tightly wound, claustrophobic art rock (and the fame it generated), as the septet let down their hair, stretch their creative legs and explore sounds and styles from Haitian rara to post disco without completely abandoning rock roll, thankfully. Here are a few of the new and old sounds (and other influences) you might hear reflected in Reflektor:This one a no brainer. Former LCD frontman James Murphy co produced the album with the band and longtime collaborator Markus Dravs, and his fingerprints are all over the place, from the bottom heavy locked grooves and open ended jams to the audacious electronic squiggles and dusty clatter. If anybody brings some disco inferno to today Arcade Fire, it him.