Together

  • Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: May 4, 2010
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Together is the flawless execution of can't-shake-loose melodies, genius arrangements (oh, those group harmonies!) and production that leaves you energized.
  2. The core remains the same, however. The band writes big, catchy pop songs-and the occasional heartbreaking ballad-and delivers them with flash, filigree, and a healthy sense of pop history.
  3. Together is another masterstroke from the New Pornographers, one of those rare albums that reminds even the most jaded ear of the joys of pop music.
  4. Together, the group's fifth record, is explosive and infectious yet tight and glossy, a far cry from the proverbial seat-of-the-pants audacity of their 2000 debut, Mass Romantic.
  5. Together is paced excellently at a little over 44 minutes, feels like half of that, and not a single song warrants a skip.
  6. The music is hearty and sure of itself. It's the kind of pop that, a few decades back, might have sneaked into the Top 40.
  7. This week the Canadian sorta-supergroup releases Together, its fifth album, and provided you're not the kind of fan who requires your heroes to evolve, the disc is delectable.
  8. This messy-pop template is nothing new for the Pornographers, but they've never applied it to such satisfying ends. Add in some guitarwork by St. Vincent's Annie Clark, a trumpet cameo from Beirut's Zach Condon, backing vocals by Okkervil River's Will Sheff and work by the ultra-reliable Dap-Kings, and it's the band's most colorful patchwork to date.
  9. The album finds the Vancouver collective making only subtle yet effective changes to the way it does business while the songs remain as sturdy and taut as ever; it's one of the most reliable releases you're likely to encounter this year.
  10. More than any other of the New Pornographers' albums, this feels like a group effort, each element united to create uniquely cerebral power pop.
  11. Under The Radar
    80
    The New Pornographers have never sounded more like a band than on Together, and it's one of the best records they've ever made. [Spring 2010, p.65]
  12. Together is certainly far-reaching in its ambitions, and it often seems close to collapsing under the combined weight of all its collaborators, but it never falters, despite its dangerous dance. The New Pornographers have taken a risk in fussing with their sound, but in large part it's paid off beautifully.
  13. The fresher feel on the Vancouver group's new set could partially be attributed to frontman Carl Newman's openness to collaborating with his peers.
  14. On Together, the band's fifth album, Newman again pumps out exuberant melodies brimming with offbeat twists.
  15. Aside from "Valkyrie", Together is a solid collection of well-crafted songs. However, in spite of the quality, the album isn't entirely satisfying.
  16. 70
    The sharp riffs only occasionally add up to anything with a pulse, but the Pornos have always been bad mathematicians. Archaeology -- that's their subject.
  17. There hasn't been a better blueprint for the New Pornographers' sound and mission, and, if all else fails, Together will certainly make you smile.
  18. They stake a firm claim for parity with arguably their most consistent set yet.
  19. Alternative Press
    70
    Although their fifth album has plenty to satisfy orchestral-rock geeks and hook-heads--especially the ecstatic, merry-g-round-dizzy "up In The Dark"--the collection shines when it goes for nuance and subtlety. [Jun 2010, p.108]
  20. A.C. Newman wanted his band's fifth album to "bridge the gap between Led Zeppelin and [Sixties psych-soul band] the Fifth Dimension." Together doesn't quite pull that off, but it is the Canadian-American group's best since 2000's Mass Romantic.
  21. On its own, it's a great record. Tacked onto the end of a sprawling, massively exciting discography, it just doesn't deliver.
  22. On the whole, Together smartly meshes thick orchestration with their lean energy really well, picking up where Challengers left off and improving in a lot of ways.
  23. Despite the distinct musical talents involved, Together is surprisingly as its name suggests--cohesive.
  24. Together does not scale the heights of Mass Romantic and Twin Cinema, but then, The New Pornographers have already made Mass Romantic and Twin Cinema. This is something new, something hopeful.
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Aug 13, 2010
    9
    The critics have got it wrong. This is certainly in the same league as Twin Cinema but it is more consistent and there are absolute gems likeThe critics have got it wrong. This is certainly in the same league as Twin Cinema but it is more consistent and there are absolute gems like We End Up Together, Crash Years and at least three other tracks that rank with any of the best NP songs. A band of geniuses writing and arranging as well as they ever have. Full Review »
  2. Sep 30, 2010
    6
    Eh.