SYNDICATE
Posted by: Dave on August 24, 2007 at 8:00 am

New Porn ChallengersSound: Since achieving the indie pop perfection of 2003’s Electric Version (my #2 album of 2003), New Pornographers have been scaling back on the snappy, immediate singles and replacing them with more reserved and reflective tunes. The move towards a more somber mood has also decreased the synths, organs and electric instruments in favor of acoustic instruments like banjo, mandolin, flute, French horn and string sections. And Neko Case’s masterfully infectious vocal appearances are few and far between as frontman Carl Newman’s niece Kathryn Calder takes a more prominent role in the band.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Myriad Harbour”; “All the Things That Go To Make Heaven and Earth”
Medium Rotation tracks: “All the Old Showstoppers”; “Go Places”; “Entering White Cecilia”; “Mutiny, I Promise You”; “Challengers”
Recommended: Of the four New Pornographers albums, Challengers is certainly the least fun and catchy, and the most challenging. For some, putting in the effort to embrace this evolution may be too much. But there is plenty to like on here. Dan Bejar’s three glammy, folky tracks are solid, and Carl Newman makes sure they’ve got a couple of the energized sing-alongs we’ve come to expect from them. The New Pornographers machine may be splintering and aging, but it’s still one of the best collectives indie rock has ever witnessed.
Grade: B+

Hear New Pornographers in rotation on 3wk.com

Listen to Tracks/Buy CD:
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2 Responses to “New Pornographers Challengers (Matador)”

  1. Chip Says:

    I gave it a sampling and wasn’t quite sure about it. However, I will take your advice and give it more of a try.

  2. Dave Says:

    They’ve got one masterpiece and 2 great albums under their belt. You owe it to yourself to give the new one a few listens. It should grow on you.

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