Link: The New Pornographers
The Inside Pulse:
There’s three archetypes of Canadian rock and roll. There’s Bryan Adams (which beget the Headstones, who beget Nickelback); There’s Sonic Youth (not Canadian, but beget Broken Social Scene and the Arcade Fire) and finally there’s the Barenaked Ladies, who beget anyone who played guitar after 1991 that didn’t want to be like Sonic Youth, Bryan Adams, or Kurt Cobain. There are instances of unmistakable Barenaked Ladies-inspired music on Twin Cinema. It’s mostly in the background, in the way the drums and guitars synch almost too well and in too many major, happy-sounding chords. There is a definite who-cares-we’re-happy vibe here, (all the ooh-whaa’s and Hey-La’s help matters there) but at the same time there are some of us who really dug the Barenaked Ladies back when they wrote some damn good pop songs, and likewise there are some damn good pop songs on this record.
Most of the songs are duets, either sung simultaneously or in parts, and this effect gives a layer most pop songs don’t have. The dissonance between the two singers is enough to make one think twice about the simple (though very tight) lyrics. Think of them as a candy-coated version of the Pixies.
There are few bands out there that make you want a car that flies, or the ability to breath underwater, or the insight to see real truth and real feeling, but this is one of them. Listening to these guys on a sunny day brings propulsion to every step, and listening while it rains brings reflection and hope not too many other bands can match. As well, if you’re a giant snob about your music, The New Pornographers still mainstain great indie status, and will continue so long as the radio stays far, far away.
You’re not going to like these guys if you don’t like power pop. You know, sweet vocals, high hats, positive ideas on the ideas of love and truth, etc. As well, you’re not going to like these guys if your idea of music is something taken very, very seriously. You can almost hear the laughter going on offstage on this album. These kids (veterans) are having the time of their lives on this record, and if you don’t dig that you should stay far away.
Fans of the Pixies’ “Here Comes Your Man” will love TNP. Same with fans of Le Tigre, The Flaming Lips, Barenaked Ladies, Rooney, By Divine Right, and any other band with a lighter (but not lite-rock) approach to music.
Reason To Buy:
You’re a bartender that wants something less dark to play while people mingle, or you’re an HMV employee that prefers something lesser-known being synched into the minds of the interminable youth. OR, you’re the kid who loves feel-good music with some depth and style that has absolutely nothing to do with any fad.