Arcade Fire: "Reflektor"

Clocking in at nearly eight minutes, promoted via two different videos (one theatrical, one interactive), produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem with backing vocals by none other than David Bowie himself, the first single from the Arcade Fire's seismically anticipated new album is event-listening of the first order. And yet "Reflektor" interrogates the very idea of event-listening. "We fell in love/Alone on a stage/In the reflective age/If this is heaven/I don't know what it's for," Win Butler sings in English, as his wife Régine Chassagne fires back with French lyrics that give his artistic ennui a life-or-death immediacy. Arcade Fire are the the most important band of the last decade, and the music lives up to their universe-affirming mandate. "Reflektor" turns a shared sense of isolation into communion with a sleek, surging track that seamlessly integrates arty rock and diagonal funk, breaking down AF's epic sound without scrimping on its essential cathartic thrust. It's a mirror-ball party for all the lonely people.