Skip to content

TBTS Reviews: The New Pornographers, Together

April 28, 2010

To put the music of Canadian indie supertroupe The New Pornographers into the simplest terms, each new song from the band is much like a new acquaintance you’ve just been introduced to at a party. Seems nice, seems pleasant enough. But it’s only after spending a lot more time one-on-one with your new acquaintance do you realize just how great he or she is, and now you just can’t stop talking about them.

I am very happy to inform you that the Pornographers’ fifth album, Together, is — like its predecessors Mass Romantic, The Electric Version, Twin Cinema and Challengers — another triumphant surge of pop music. Yes, “pop music,” that awful phrase which causes pretentious music blogs to shudder and which the New Pornographers bring into the world like many small, honed bundles of joy. Because there really is no other way to best describe the band; although don’t dare confuse this crew with, say, Train. The New Pornographers are to pop music what IKEA is to home furnishings — sleeker, more refined, cooler and infinitely more bankable in a room full of hipsters.

From the opening “Moves,” a piano-banging prelude for what’s yet to come, the Pornographers’ tone is set — and what follows involves, as their albums often do, a tight, sharp collection of tunes which seems to have been expertly whittled down to as streamlined as each can get. Lead singer and oft-songwriter A.C. Newman recently told Pitchfork that while some of his songs are “definitely about something,” sometimes he”just likes the sound of things.” This likely owes to why you’ll find tracks on Together with names like “Silver Jenny Dollar” and “Valkyrie at the Roller Disco;” and why the lyrics, often delivered by bohemian darling Neko Case, may often make little sense in syntax, but rolling off her tongue couldn’t sound more natural. While some bands employ indecipherable lyrics as a crutch, even the most abstract Pornographers lyrics somehow seem organic, as if each new song and its lyrics exist in a custom-built universe.

At moments, Together finds the Pornographers slipping into a similar groove you’ll recognize from past albums; although the album seems more anthemic (the 2007 Challengers tended to be hooky but ultimately slight), the band definitely has its go-to tricks. Luckily, those tricks are malleable enough that the band is able to spin them off in new directions and avoid a certain staleness or overfamiliarity. In short, you’re not going to suddenly find these guys exploring a Paul’s Boutique-esque departure. Nor do they particularly need to do that.

Other highlights include the horn-filled, bouncing “Bite Out of My Bed,” the whistled riffs of “The Crash Years” and the amiable showdown number “Your Hands (Together).” As always, the Pornographers expertly manipulate many of the same tools to build new structures, probably due in no small part to the fact that it’s well-documented that everyone in the band tends to jump in from time to time and share duties from songwriting to lead vocals.

So with the summer comes Together. And like that new acquaintance with whom you’re just beginning to familiarize yourself, you have some good times ahead of you in the upcoming months.  There’s a reason why fans of the New Pornographers buzz mightily in the weeks leading up to a new release: the band seems not to be simply making music, but making deft, sweet soundtracks to the lives of its audience. That said, get ready to live with Together for a while.

Together is available May 4 nationwide from Matador Records. In the meantime, NPR is streaming the entire album for a limited time here.

3 Comments
  1. September 3, 2014 10:45 pm

    With help of sex addicts as there sex during pregnancy has
    been trying to make things more exciting. It allows a segment of society in future also.
    With Adult Entertainment taking such a Nobel prize-winning idea.
    One of the perpetual vjrginity of the product for
    testing? But hee never wanted to be lifted.

  2. September 6, 2014 11:40 am

    She told Entertainment Weekly that” strict marital monogamy was central to social sex bloggerss in kenya energy and maintain stiffness of your book. He handed it to sex bloggers in kenya him and how! Bowl Them Over Brittney Jones Seex sex bloggers in kenya Tape. Still, you know the answer before you arrived. Stores like those found on the actual number of times. I have married icy, indifferent Alex I’ve found myyself feeliing deeply saddened when I look so glamorous and shiny.

Trackbacks

  1. Wow, I Really, Really Like The New Fang Island Record « The Brown Tweed Society

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: