Arcade Fire: With a third consecutive No. 1 album, this band’s a long way from the upstart days of its breathtaking 2004 debut, “Funeral.” The Bruce Springsteen-adjacent 2011 album “The Suburbs” dispensed with their underdog status, but it’s hard to escape the feeling that each of the group’s records has yielded diminishing returns, from the dour “Neon Bible” to the overblown dancerock of “Reflektor.” Its latest, “Everything Now,” mixes ham-fisted cultural critiques with chilly electrodisco moves that transform Arcade Fire’s strength — an anthemic, art-school earnestness — and flatten it into something anonymous.
Every brand a streaming
service: Oh, how cordcutters celebrated not so many years ago, reducing a cable bill that could reach triple digits to the cost of a few cups of coffee per month with a few streaming subscriptions. Now every network wants in on that action with monthly charges for HBO, CBS and soon Disney joining the options as it announced it will pull its movies from Netflix to launch its own service while most streaming providers angle to become TV networks. With so many access fees and services to track, it’s almost enough to make one nostalgic for paying cable companies.