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ARCADE FIRE

“The Suburbs”

(Merge)

HHH

For the first half of its new album, “The Suburbs,” Arcade Fire seems trapped in an artistic cul-de-sac of its own creation.

In the Canadian indie-rock collective’s attempt to indict the comforts and complacency of suburban life, Win Butler and his pals adopt a lazy, kind of lifeless musical backdrop to kick things off. Maybe the introductory humdrum is needed to make the rest of “The Suburbs” sound that much more triumphant.

— Glenn Gamboa,

NewsdayRATINGS: HHHH: Excellent; HHH: Good; HH: Fair; H: PoorDR. JOHN

“Tribal”

(429 Records)

HHH

Dr. John hasn’t remotely given up his campaign to keep attention on the injustices and frustrations that New Orleans denizens are still wrangling with five years later, but this time out, he also devotes part of his time to looking at affairs of the heart as only the language-twisting Crescent City R&B-funk master can. Sometimes the message overwhelms the music, but largely the good doctor tends to the sick without letting the well-heeled off the hook.

— Randy Lewis,

Los Angeles Times

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