The Futureheads, ‘This Is Not the World’ (Nul)
This U.K. group’s 2004 first album was a breakneck feat of dazzling harmonizing, while 2006’s follow-up was a bit of a snoozer, but their third recaptures, and reshapes, that original vigor. This Is Not the World isn’t quite the breathless playground once populated by robots and carnival kids, but “Think Tonight” possesses a fist-pumping riff that’s one piano short of an Andrew W.K. song and “Broke Up the Time” barrels along as if the brake lines have been cut. In the Futureheads’ newfound middle ground, sincerity doesn’t have to be a drag and relaxing doesn’t mean losing the beat.