Academy Award nominee and Arcade Fire associate Owen Pallett recently acquired a small chunk of Internet notoriety by using music theory to dissect and explain the genius behind “Teenage Dream” and “Get Lucky.” But the singer-songwriter, who in live performances uses loop pedals and other effects to twist his violin into occasionally unrecognizable textures, must know that composition is just part of what makes pop music work, and the best tracks on “In Conflict” succeed on the arrangements and production as well as the writing. Pallett sings with a soft tenor that induces ease, so that even though the playfully creeping chamber quartet of “On a Path” uses the same ingredients as Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida,” it comes off as intimacy rather than grand mythmaking. But Pallett’s also fond of the electronic pop of the Postal Service on “Soldier’s Rock,” “The Sky Behind the Flag,” and the title track. And on “The Riverbed,” an already tense, sawing momentum gains weight with each layer until it paradoxically lifts off the ground. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “The Riverbed”Marc Hirsh can be reached at email@example.com.