Arcade Fire 

Is it possible that the best band in the world could also be the biggest? Montreal's Arcade Fire makes a compelling case with The Suburbs, a Grammy-winning set of lovingly rendered tracks about life in cubicle hell. Suburban America is an all-too-predictable target, of course, but Win Butler and company enliven the familiar subject with warmth and candor. Consequently, The Suburbs marks a step in the evolution of a band that has been making audacious music since its 2004 debut, Funeral. Second disc Neon Bible feels heavy-handed in its grandiose critiques of religion, but The Suburbs is beautifully realized, with soaring riffs and cutting lyrics.

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