"Reflektor" as written by Win Butler, Regine Chassagne, William Butler, Richard R Parry, Jeremy Gara and Tim Kingsbury....
Trapped in a prism, in a prism of light
Alone in the darkness, darkness of white
We fell in love, alone on a stage
In the reflective age

Entre la nuit, la nuit et l’aurore
Entre les royaumes, des vivants et des morts
If this is heaven
I don't know what it’s for
If I can’t find you there
I don't care

I thought, I found a way to enter
It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)
I thought, I found the connector
It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)

Now, the signals we send, are deflected again
We're still connected, but are we even friends?
We fell in love when I was nineteen
And I was staring at a screen

Entre la nuit, la nuit et l’aurore
Entre les voyants, les vivants et les morts
If this is heaven
I need something more
Just a place to be alone
'Cause you're my home

I thought, I found a way to enter
It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)
I thought, I found the connector
It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor) Just a reflektor

It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)

It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)

It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)

reflektor (Just a reflektor)
(Just a reflektor) just a reflektor
(Just a reflektor) just a reflektor (reflektor)
(Just a reflektor)
(Just a reflektor)
(Just a reflektor, just a reflektor)
(Just a reflektor, just a reflektor)

Just a reflection, of a reflection
Of a reflection, of a reflection, of a reflection
Will I see you on the other side? (Just a reflektor)
We all got things to hide (Just a reflektor)
It’s just a reflection of a reflection
Of a reflection, of a reflection, of a reflection
Will I see you on the other side? (Just a reflektor)
We all got things to hide (Just a reflektor)

Alright, let's go back
Our song escapes, on little silver discs
Our love is plastic, we'll break it to bits
I want to break free, but will they break me?
Down, down, down, don't mess around

I thought, I found a way to enter
It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)
I thought, I found the connector
It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)

It’s just a reflektor

It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)

It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)
It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)

Thought you would bring me to the resurrector
Turns out it was just a reflektor (It’s just a reflektor)
Thought you would bring to me the resurrector
Turns out it was just a reflektor (It’s just a reflektor)
Thought you would bring to me the resurrector
Turns out you were just a reflektor
It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)
(It's just a reflektor) Just a reflektor

Just a reflektor
Just a reflektor
Just a reflektor
Will I see you on the other side?
It’s just a reflektor
Will I see you on the other side? (reflektor)
We all got things to hide (reflektor)
Just a reflektor
Will I see you on the other side?


Lyrics submitted by jaredyankee, edited by Mellow_Harsher, almanacg, resmat, Tims, thesteezybeezy, QuantumEcho

"Reflektor" as written by Regine Chassagne Jeremy Gara

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Reflektor song meanings
Add your thoughts

24 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +35
    My InterpretationThe Pitchfork review says that the meaning is how art has become more self-reflective/about the artist rather than the observer.
    I think that's one possibility, but I think more about the kind of people who have thousands of friends on Facebook but only are truly friends with a few of them. Technology connects people, but are we really connecting with the person or with the idea of what the connection means to us ("Our love is plastic, we'll break it to bits")? The song seems to argue that connections through technology are impersonal and we end up seeing more of ourselves than of the other person. You think you've found a way to connect, but in reality you're just looking into a mirror. ("We're still connected, but are we even friends?
    We fell in love when I was nineteen
    And I was staring at a screen")
    The "reflective age" is the modern techno-centric society where connections between people are more of this type than of truly trying to find someone. Trapped in our screens (a "prism of light") we're truly alone.

    Dunno if this makes any sense or if I'm just rambling but that's just what I got out of the song.
    grmartinon September 11, 2013   Link
  • +10
    My InterpretationWhere to begin with this beautiful piece of art… Arcade Fire continues to amaze with their both musical innovation and progressive lyrics.
    My interpretation is developed from the lyrics and coupled with the music videos. The "reflection" alluded to is created from confirmation bias we create when searching for our salvation. The song begins with “Trapped in a prism, in a prism of light”, the individual feels alienated. The individual then believes they have found the answer while they begin a journey with love, or with religion, or whatever the object of their affective is. The individual then has the epiphany “I thought I found the connector It’s just a Reflektor (It's just a Reflektor)”. The “connector” is not love or religion, it is just an illusion created by our own perspective. My interpretation is that Arcade Fire is pleading for the audience to lift the veil or ignorance. Pleading to understand that our own perspectives alter the way we see the world. Even so far as the god or salvation we create for ourselves is ultimately just the reflection of who we are. The line with David Bowie “Thought you would bring me to the resurrector, Turns out it was just a Reflektor (It’s just a Reflektor)” creates this belief.” While this interpretation may appear to create a discomforting or sad song, I belief Arcade Fire is celebrating the realization of our own illusion. In the video a celebration takes place towards the end of the song and the chords become much lighter. They are urging us all to “break free” from this prism and appreciate the world for what it is. We can find peace in accepting each other for our differences because we understand that we are all innately human.
    The genius of Arcade Fire is further demonstrated from the irony that our own perspectives create a reflection of this song. The interpretation I just provided may be more reflective of me and my beliefs than of the song itself.
    Alyosha19on September 12, 2013   Link
  • +6
    My Interpretation"It’s just a reflection of a reflection / Of a reflection of a reflection / Will I see you on the other side? / We all got things to hide"

    Fairly common philosophical ideas that go down a crazy rabbit hole. There's no true self, despite what we tell ourselves - we're only reflections of how we perceive ourselves, how others perceive us, how we perceive others, etc. Truth is relative, and therefore arbitrary.

    "The signals we send / Are deflected again / We're still connected / But are we even friends? / We fell in love when I was nineteen / And I was staring at a screen"

    Thus it complicates what love is. Who are we loving - the true self (if such a thing exists) or a perception (the reflection) of what we want to love?

    "Thought you would bring me to the resurrector / Turns out it was just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)"

    This seems to say that God (the resurrector) is a sham, too. He's just a reflektor. Plays into the French bit sang by Régine, about being in a state between night and day, life and death.

    It's a song about Relativism, I think. (And that's Relativism with a capital "R".) Maybe a post-Nietzsche view of Relativism. It's because of this bit:

    "Our song escapes / On neon silver discs / Our love is plastic / We'll break it to bits / I want to break free / But will they break me? / Down, down, down / Don't mess around"

    One of Nietzsche's big ideas was that of the "übermensch" - the "overman" that could break free of the conventions of society and humanity to be his true self. Arcade Fire has been big on eschewing technology whenever possible and taking part in human connection (a big theme in The Suburbs), so this ties in with that pretty nicely, I think.

    And, of course, the chorus:

    "I thought I found a way to enter / It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor) / I thought I found the connector / It’s just a reflektor (It's just a reflektor)"

    Win thought he found the key to understanding it all, but, welp, it's just a reflektor. You can't win! All hope is lost!
    jschuelleron September 12, 2013   Link
  • +5
    My Interpretation'Trapped in a prism, in a prism of light
    Alone in the darkness, darkness of white
    We fell in love, alone on a stage
    In the reflective age'

    The first verse refers to the relationship between the narrator and his lover. It's trapped in technology, and doesn't translate into the real world. Maybe they speak freely on social networks, and are too shy in real life. Darkness of white represents how dull it is to announce your love on the series of flashing lights that is your monitor.

    'I thought I found a way to enter
    It’s just a Reflektor (It's just a Reflektor)
    I thought I found the connector
    It’s just a Reflektor (It's just a Reflektor)'

    The chorus is the most fascinating part of the song. The narrator thought that if he used social networking, he could form a relationship without the risk of humiliation or embarrassment. He was wrong though. The Reflektor represents how alone he really is. His computer may give the illusion that he is talking to someone, but he is actually just sending them little Facebook messages. He is alone with his *reflection* in the monitor.

    'Now, the signals we send, are deflected again
    We're still connected, but are we even friends?
    We fell in love when I was nineteen
    And now we're staring at a screen'

    Real love is not subject to glitches, and bugs. Facebook, however, is (the signals they send are deflected again). They're communicating, (connected), but does this count as friendship? How do we define friendship in the 'Reflective Age'. The last two lines of this verse back this up.

    'Will I see you on the other side?
    We all got things to hide'

    Behind your monitor, you don't have to be you. Is his lover who she is in real life, or just who she wants to be? The advantage of talking online is that you are not you, just a tiny square picture and a group of sentences. You can hide what you want.

    'All right, let's go back
    Our song escapes on little silver discs
    Our love is plastic, we'll break it to bits
    I want to break free, but will they break me?
    Down, down, down
    Don't mess around'

    Couples talk about 'our song' as something significant to them, and who they are together. The concept has been downsized to something you can burn to a CD and play it anywhere. Does this mean it loses all importance? Their love is plastic, like their computers. Such a finite and replaceable substance. It's not indefinite, it only survives as long as they both have a computer. (I want to break free, but will they break me?) Of course, he knows that their's more to love than sending cute instant-messages, but he's devolved to be a person behind a screen, scared of the real world breaking him.

    I'm sad to say I can't explain the part about 'the Resurrector'.

    As for the video, this fits nicely with my interpretation.

    At the start we see the band don their masks, the masks obviously showing themselves but bigger. These masks represent how they want to be seen by people communicating with them via social networks.

    Throughout the video, the band members are heading towards reflective surfaces such as the lake. I think these shiny objects represent the Reflektor, or the computer.

    One thing I find interesting, but is probably meaningless, is the disco ball attached to the front of the car. As we know, the band members are constantly hunting down reflective surfaces. Maybe the disco ball shows that they are constantly driving forwards, trying to achieve true love via the 'Reflektor'.

    At some point in the video they find the huge shiny disco ball that is the Reflektor, worshipping it. They send their signals with huge mirrors, and the reflective man sends them via a satellite dish. They are finally happy. They have found the connector.

    But then they see it. Their reflection in the monitor. Not the person they have been online, but the real them, and they have to come to terms with how alone they are, and how dishonest they have been to themselves.

    They bury the real them, the people they grew up as (the baby dolls), the people they have been for their entire lives in a reflective coffin. And they become happy to lie to themselves, devoting themselves to the Reflektor.

    They even visit the Reflektor at night by torchlight. They do not leave it alone for a second.

    An interesting part is when the Reflektor is brought towards the camera, reminding the viewer that right now, they are using the Reflektor.

    The final shot shows how artificial they have made themselves.
    Syaoranonion September 29, 2013   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationI think this song describes modern life and our reliance on modern forms of communication as a barrier (reflektor) to actually *living* life.

    We are living, but not really living; communicating with each other, but not really communicating with each other; we are experiencing life only through digital images and the darkness of a white computer screen, instead of actually going out and living it. We have become words on a screen.

    Such modern forms of communication, like Facebook, are supposed to make establishing real connections with other people easier. Instead what they tend to do is end up reflecting the person's own individual tastes and ego thus creating an loathing barrier to real life.

    Indeed, towards the end of the song "Thought you were praying to the resurrector / Turns out it was just a Reflektor" expands fully on this theme of alienation through modern technology. The most well known resurrector is of course Jesus (whether you believe in that aspect of religion or not, you cannot doubt his "fame) Jesus is, of course, also known as the saviour. Internet technology was once hailed as the saviour. But here, in this song, it becomes more like a barrier; the Reflektor - the space between the living and the dead. The space between actually being alive and just being words on a screen.

    Incidentally, do the opening lines "Trapped in a prison, in a prism of light" refer to the NSA's PRISM programme to monitor internet communications?

    "We've all got things to hide" indeed.
    niteflite01on October 26, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionThis song is clearly about Facebook and the glorification of technology as a new form of relegion.
    CasualFireon September 23, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song has many subplots but one recurring theme: solitude and delusion in overcoming it. There are at least four plots one could find in the lyrics: 1) Butler and Chassagne’s own experience as lovers and artists 2) the solitude of the artist and the delusion of fame as a bridge to salvation 3) distrust in technology as a way for people to create deep emotional connections 4) search for spirituality. The delusional longing for salvation, for heaven, is typified by the reflector: a powerful source of artificial light or a device that bends and sends off light from some other source.

    Subplot #1-2: Love and Art
    A musician is like a prism of light, converting inner emotions and ideas into sounds just like white light is reflected into visible colors by a prism. But a natural gift can be a blessing and a trap, since you can’t escape yourself and your ‘destiny’, you can’t “break free” as Butler sings lines later.
    The horizon of light during a concert, stage in full light, public in darkness, resembles the boundary between night and day, a time when according to many beliefs death and life get together. Les royaumes des vivants et des morts entre la nuit et l’aurore People idealize rockstars but once on the stage you feel alone, you can’t see the public, the reflectors make you blind in a desert of white light, and if you can’t see who is standing on the other side, that is is just like being in a darkness, a darkness of light. Love for Regina was born on the stage, probably the two found a deep connection in making art together, which forms a strong bond of complicity.
    People generally think of fame as heaven; of performing on a stage as one of the highest achievements a person can attain. But Win wouldn’t care if he couldn’t find Regina there.
    This is because fame and art are not an end in itself; are not the connector to salvation/happiness, they are just a reflector and should be taken at face value, without giving them other metaphysical meanings. After all, we all know too well how many musicians and actors, while shining bright on a stage, were suffering inside and could find no solace in celebrity status, sometimes even coming to .
    Win met Regina when he was 19 (ok, he was 20) and moved to Montreal to attend McGill university. She is the real home for his soul, something that is ‘more’ than the heaven you can find in performing music. The fruit of their love, their music, is now deflected and ‘escapes’ into little silver discs (CDs) or broken into bits (MP3). Broken, indeed. Transmission of communication is a connection but also loses a degree of meaning. No longer a personal expression of self, it becomes art, a universal and impersonal form of expression. It also becomes material, ‘plastic’, artificial. Once you are in the hands of the public as an artist, you wonder if you can break free and escape from this destiny. There is a huge inner pressure, fear of ‘messing around’, fear of the consequences from leaving the stage or the possibility that critics and public turn against the artist (will they break me?) or that difficulty in coping with success will trigger a mental breakdown.
    In the end, one could think art would bring the artist to resurrection/glory/salvation/inner peace, but that was an illusion. Art is a game of reflection. Heaven is somewhere else.
    And we go back to the initial scene, on the stage. Under the reflector the performer can’t see the public on the other side. But will they see us one day? Will they see what their music represents for each of us? And will we get the whole message of their music? Will we make a deep connection, one that goes across the separation line between the stage and the public? Will we feel together?

    Subplot #3: Technology
    There is a more general meaning hidden in the song. This is the reflective age, one where technology is idolized as a tool of progress that helps people get together. But does it really?
    We call people ‘friends’ on Facebook who are barely acquaintances in real life. Some teens find love behind the screen. We all make use of social networks, dating websites and other apps that deflect and send false images of ourselves, reflections. We choose the best pictures, we want to appear at our best. So, are we really able to see ourselves on the two sides of a screen? Can we go beyond the reflection of a reflection? Is technology really salvific for overcoming our fear of isolation? No, it is no resurrector, it is just a reflector. A false myth that should create no illusion in people. In this sense, on social networks we’re all like actors on a stage and we can’t see who is watching us perform on the other side. This means it makes us more alone, even if we think we are not.

    Subplot #4: False Myths and Inner Search
    The only possible resurrection is inside yourself, the only dimension when one can really be sure not to follow reflectors and other beams of false light. “A place to be alone” where one can recognize that the most powerful principle in life is love (you’re my home). This message is more apparent when one listens to ‘Reflektor’ as the first track of a deeply religious and spiritual album. In many songs there is a call on ‘looking inside’ for heaven (track “Here comes the night time”) and not listen to ‘Missionaries’. Success, religion, society are reflectors of false answers. These are the usual critiques of Arcade Fire against the main tenets of modern life, a theme they widely explored in previous albums like Neon Bible and the Suburbs.
    Mintakaon January 02, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIt's so universal.


    For me, this song could not explain the moment I'm in any better. It's perfect.
    Jonathan07on September 22, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIt's not a hidden fact that Win Butler had some connections with the Mormon religion. Well, I think that he realized that it is something that is not true and he left them.
    "Thought you were praying to the ressurector, turns out it was just a reflektor" line I think it shows this really clear.
    So, what we know from this song? Win is not a Mormon anymore.
    kliperson September 23, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThen there's the possible significance of releasing this song on nine o'clock on 9 september, or 9-9-9, the reflection of which would be 666.

    It do not think any link to satanism is intended here, it is however a strong example of how reflections can take on new meanings. Not everything is what it seems.
    Hatseflatson September 27, 2013   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain