Thursday, "No Devolucion"

Thursday's third consecutive collaboration with Flaming Lips producer Dave Fridmann is the New Jersey post-hardcore band's most expansive effort yet. Midway through the song "Sparks Against the Sun," the group disrupts a ringing piano groove with an end-of-days percussion breakdown, while "No Answers" and "A Darker Forest" shimmer with dulcet clean-channel guitars that wouldn't sound out of place on a Norah Jones record. ("Magnets Caught in a Metal Heart" even slips some jam-band funk into Thursday's often-sober attack.) Yet what marks "No Devolucion" as an improvement over 2006's "A City by the Light Divided" and 2009's "Common Existence" is that frontman Geoff Rickly and his bandmates have finally written a batch of songs worthy of those complicated arrangements. Listening to the tracks "Fast to the End" and "Empty Glass" (the latter finds Rickly lamenting the loss of his wedding ring over a funereal organ drone), you don't think about the musical math problems they're working through-you think about what Rickly's thinking about.