Label: XL

With Modern Vampires of the City, Vampire Weekend returns to New York after the California sunshine of Contra, the band's second album, for a crack-up, a crisis of faith. Ezra Koenig, lead singer and lyricist, questions ways of getting through this life with lyrics both erudite and chucklesome. Do you trust that love will save you? America? God? Vampire Weekend's best album wrestles the big questions with gorgeous melodies that'll take up residence between your ears (the burbling chorus of "Diane Young") and arrangements so lush (everything about "Ya Hey"), you'll likely end up trusting in music more than anything else. When that music sounds as good as "Hannah Hunt," the rousing midpoint of the album where the images feel yanked from a great short story and Koenig's voice cracks in all the right ways, who could blame you? —Ross Scarano