After two commercially unsuccessful albums on Scottish indie Jeepster, Snow Patrol broke big with a move to Fiction/Polydor in 2003.

After two commercially unsuccessful albums on Scottish indie Jeepster, Snow Patrol broke big with a move to Fiction/Polydor in 2003. That came with U.K. hit single "Run," taken from third album "Final Straw," which has amassed global sales of 2.7 million, according to the label. Nielsen SoundScan has logged 618,000 U.S. sales of the album, and 2006 follow-up "Eyes Open" raised the band's profile substantially, thanks to the success of the single "Chasing Cars." The album has sold 4.6 million globally, Polydor says, including 1.2 million in the States.

Whereas Snow Patrol's early releases owed a lo-fi rock debt to bands like Sebadoh, the new "A Hundred Million Suns" offers a blend of sleek, arena-ready tracks and heartfelt, stripped-down love songs, all produced by longtime collaborator Garrett "Jacknife" Lee. Highlights include the strident rockers "Please Just Take These Photos From My Hands" and "Disaster Button," and the contemplative, acoustic-led "Lifeboats." The set closes with 16-minute "The Lightning Strike," a suite of three unique songs.

Also arriving this week is Britrock institution the Cure's 13th studio album, "4:13 Dream" (Suretone/Geffen). Though original planned as a double album (33 songs were recorded during the lengthy studio sessions), only a baker's dozen tracks appear on the finished, mostly poppy product.

The set, which was first expected out in the summer of 2007, was preceded by the release of singles on the 13th day of each of the past four months. "Freakshow" and "The Only One" bounce with the effervescent energy of the band's pop hits, while more menacing tracks like "Sleep When I'm Dead" and "Baby Rag Dog Book" wield a rawer, guitar-driven gusto.

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