SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on August 29, 2005 at 10:39 pm

Following up a masterpiece is always quite a challenge. The New Pornographers’ previous album Electric Version was irresistible, pop/rock perfection (and my #2 album of 2003), but this time they’ve toned down the sugary sweetness a bit. There are still several sing-along hooks, boy-girl harmonies and intricate arrangements, minus some of the snappiness. Most noticeable is the shift in Neko Case-led songs. Her hit-parading confections have been replaced with more sedated contemplations. Meanwhile, the wild card of the group, Dan Bejar, has found a way to integrate his oddball, androgyny much better into the band’s sound. His songs used to feel like curveballs, now they’re quirkier pieces cut from the same cloth. The New Pornographers are a tight collective that continue to craft fascinatingly fun music. Just don’t expect the same amount of blissful joy on this more mature third album.
Heavy Rotation tracks:Jackie, Dressed In Cobrasicon“; “Twin Cinemaicon
Medium Rotation tracks:The Jessica Numbersicon“; “Use Iticon“; “Sing Me Spanish Technoicon“; “Broken Breadsicon“; “These Are the Fablesicon
Grade: A- (Top 20 Albums of 2005 Candidate)

(As posted 8/29/05 on davepowersmusic.com)
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