My immediate reaction to Arcade Fire's "Reflektor" that will probably be tempered if not altogether turned on its ear with further listening & reflection (no pun intended) on lyrics: Disappointed. Pretentious.
There seems to be this inevitable progression that takes place as fame grows: the blueprint that propelled you there becomes "amateur" (or something), and must be transcended. And "transcending" what you were involves pleasing the over the top super geeks by going extremely inside so that only the ones "in the know" will get all of your high highfalutin references/influences/motivations etc. God forbid you make something "catchy"--pleasing the masses becomes a sin when you're at the top & now need to "prove yourself" to your peers.
I hope I am wrong. And as possible evidence of my wrongness I submit to you their last album, "The Suburbs." I hardly liked a track on the first and second time through, but eventually the album grew on me, to the point where I both appreciate and enjoy most of the tracks. BUT, I always kind of resented the fact that I had to work so hard to enjoy the album--shouldn't that come naturally? Should I really have to force myself so hard to like something? Since I had to work so hard to get myself to a place of enjoyment, I fear I will not be able to force myself to the well one more time.
Thus ends my first foray into musical criticism--sonic nerds may pounce and deride . . . now!