Twin Cinema - The New Pornographers

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. It's their trademark boisterous hyper-melodies... that will have you involuntarily humming their praises for weeks (months!) to come. [26 Aug 2005, p.59]
  2. 100
    In danger of hitting the point of "OK, we get it" -- when that zap of newness wears off and a successful band suddenly feels less than essential -- the New Pornographers instead come up pretty big on Twin Cinema, transitioning to a sound just as catchy as their old stuff but with more space for the tunes to breathe.
  3. With Twin Cinema, The New Pornographers have elevated themselves from a band I really like to a band that I can't live without.
  4. 91
    There's a nifty kind of egolessness about the NPs: They're team players in a way that few other bands are right now. [Aug 2005, p.93]
  5. The New Pornographers shine because every member gets their due. [#10, p.107]
  6. With more developed ideas than Mass Romantic and a more cohesive sound than Electric Version, it's their most consistent, confident, and best album to date.
  7. 90
    It's Twin Cinema's relative melancholy that makes it the band's best album yet. [Sep 2005, p.134]
  8. There's just a little more space on this record for the songs to build and breathe. Twin Cinema is the first New Pornographers record you'll want to sit through from beginning to end.
  9. While that may disappoint some waiting for a masterpiece, there's no shame in mining the same ground as long as they make records as tight and tuneful as this.
  10. Like the other two [albums], it's speaker-blowingly brilliant. [11 Aug 2005, p.70]
  11. The songs on Twin Cinema are simply of a higher caliber than anything the Pornos' individual members can create by themselves or had created together before.
  12. The group has already produced a barrage of great singles, but this time around, it digs in its collective heels for a worthy album, allowing the songs, and not just the musicians, to shine. [27 Aug 2005]
  13. Twin Cinema doesn't so much vary its predecessors' formula as crawl inside it.
  14. The New Pornographers are a recurring reminder of how ebullient this kind of music can be, which makes them radicals of the form.
  15. It's evident that the band's traditionally simple sound has been augmented with greater influences and a desire to overstuff, miraculously without overkill.
  16. 86
    One of the great pleasures of Twin Cinema is the way every morsel seems to have been scrutinized. [#17, p.96]
  17. Is it their best album? Maybe not. Is it still the best pop album of the year? Of course.
  18. Twin Cinema has the winning distinction of being the most rocking set from the Pornographers to date -- and also the strangest.
  19. 80
    By turns darker and more challenging than 2003's dazzling Electric Version. [Oct 2005, p.96]
  20. Exhilarating and complex enough to keep you warm year-round. [Aug/Sep 2005, p.108]
  21. The slickly produced Twin Cinema tweaks the formula to include subdued moments, climactic codas and fully unified vocals, elevating the band’s ideas to complete cohesion and transcending its previous output.
  22. Best (and nearly perfect) when taken two or three songs at a time, as an entire album, Twin Cinema overstays its welcome. It's simply too much of a good thing.
  23. Twin Cinema is another great pop album from the New Pornographers, a release that's crammed with so many memorable melodies that the bumpier moments fade into the background.
  24. The band sound more pleasingly unified than they ever have. By the same token, the album feels less adventurous, at least in terms of stylistic diversity, but the focus on Newman's exuberantly literate power-pop affords it more impact.
  25. It would be a joke to call an album as lush as Twin Cinema “lo-fi,” but it is a more subtle, reined-in New Pornographers.
  26. In short, it's no Mass Romantic, but it will do quite nicely.
  27. 70
    Rolls by like a summery blast of mid-'60s AM radio. [Sep 2005, p.89]
  28. Shuttles between nerdy and mesmeric. [Oct 2005, p.119]
  29. It isn't identical to Mass Romantic or Electric Version, but it differs from them in ways that probably could have been predicted, modeled and simulated.
  30. Lacking a central, prominent voice, "Twin Cinema" is frequently the schematics without the soul, a formal tour de force with bravado to spare but not a lot of inner life. [4 Sep 2005]
  31. The least imaginative album of their career. [Oct 2005, p.158]
  32. Inevitably, when the Prozac finally wears off the more 'thoughtful' numbers fall flat on their faces. [20 Aug 2005, p.58]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 122 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 75
  2. Negative: 3 out of 75
  1. Sep 21, 2011
    Great album...and The Bleeding Heart Show is one of my favorite songs ever constructed. I simply can't get enough of Neko and Kathryn's voices. It is pure pop as is should be. Full Review »
  2. Aug 22, 2010
    When I first hears "Use It" on the radio, I felt that sense of instant recognition of a great band reaching a peak, fully realizing their sound, similar to the first time I heard "Losing my Religion" by REM or "Bulls on Parade" by Rage. The album matches the epic quality of that song, although "Use It" remains a standout track. Full Review »
  3. EricC.
    Aug 6, 2007
    Impossibly fun. I was only a couple of songs in to this album before it became one of my favorites. I'll blast this music from my stereo for a while. Full Review »