Category: The New Pornographers

The New Pornographers – Electric Version

ARTIST: New Pornographers                       220px-The_New_Pornographers_Electric_Version (1)

TITLE: Electric Version

YEAR RELEASED: 2003

CHART ACTION: #196

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: From Blown Speakers, The Laws Have Changed

LINEUP: AC Newman, Neko Case, Dan Bejar, John Collins, Blaine Thurier, Kurt Dahle, Todd Fancey, Nora O’Connor

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Altrock royalties second album improves on their debut with some diversity while keeping the whimsy and camaraderie.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Sure, anything with Neko Case is going to sound magical, but she’s part of a group here – a group that definitely sounds like its having fun playing songs by AC Newman and Dan Bejar.

The loose-knit collective (as in, they just get together when they can, and tour with whoever can) definitely hits its stride here. While Newman’s songs have his trademark on them, the playing by the band is such that it’s not just sidemen on a solo album. Bejar’s songs are a bit away from Destroyer as well.

The choruses are hooky, the melodies are memorable, and there’s musical twists and turns and interesting arrangements and production galore. A definite hit (except that whole sales thing…)

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Rolling Stone said this was the 79th best record of the 2000’s.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Japan, of course

GRADE A: You can’t argue with hooks and melodies like this.

The New Pornographers – Mass Romantic

ARTIST: The New Pornographers             220px-Mass_romantic (1)

TITLE:  Mass Romantic

YEAR RELEASED: 2000

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Letter from an Occupant (#139 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Mass Romantic

LINEUP: Dan Bejar, Neko Case, John Collins, Kurt Dahle, Carl Newman, Fisher Rose, Blaine Thurier

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Alternative pop / rock ‘supergroup’ of sorts coalesces together for a first album full of fun twists and turns.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Grafting together members from Zumpano, Destroyer, Limblifer, and the Eavporators, along with Neko Case and filmmaker Blaine Thurier, The New Pornographers were a definite power-pop / indie rock Canadian supergroup.

Unlike other supergroups, the band members didn’t just give the band leftovers. From the beginning they collaborated and constructed a unique sound that identifies them even if you’ve heard the voices on other records. Their guitars and synths, and intros and rhythms are fairly unique to the band.

AC “Carl” Newman is the ringleader of this bunch, and he organized the production of the record over three long years. But this is worth the wait – the New Pornographers’ debut established them as truly greater than the sum of their parts (even with Neko Case along!)

The album also sounds fun. Even if it took a while the band sounds like they’re enjoying themselves and love playing with each other. This kicked off their career and they’re now an important part of the indie rock landscape.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The band knew each other from the Vancouver music scene.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A Japanese version with two extra songs.

 GRADE: A-: A witty power pop record that started the band and its members on their ride.