Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)
Label: Virgin Emi
With LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy as producer, Arcade Fire's fourth release is their least predictable. While this double album has plenty of long tracks, it's actually a breezier listen than the slower, mannered The Suburbs. That could be due to the variety and propulsion of the dance beats, the dub experiments and the abrupt turnarounds -- best in show "Joan of Arc" ends the first disc with a post-punk intro that turns into a hand-clapping shuffle. The other peak is "Afterlife," which rides a synth-wah groove before kicking into their most ebullient, hopeful chorus yet: "Can we work it out?"