In the Morse Code of Brake Lights Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 22 Ratings

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  • Summary: The eighth full-length studio release for the Canadian indie rock group was produced by its frontman, A.C. Newman.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Oct 2, 2019
    87
    The New Pornographers now have coalesced around Carl Newman and his singular vision. Twenty years into their existence, they seem stronger than ever.
  2. Sep 30, 2019
    80
    In the Morse Code of Brake Lights has a tone of thematic consistency that isn't always apparent in a New Pornographers album, but with this group, music has always carried more weight than lyrics, and on that level, it's an especially strong effort from an act that's never been short on stylistic ambition.
  3. Oct 21, 2019
    80
    While Neko Case’s moonlighting from her solo day job allows her to enliven the proceedings, it’s obvious that the ensemble, as a whole, contributes to the richness and resonance that the new album exudes in its entirety.
  4. Sep 27, 2019
    75
    The sheer, exhilarating high of early albums is gone, as is the laser focus pushing through to the end of songs. There are more sideways glances, more pauses. They can sprint when they need to, but not forever. This release proves that they don't have to anymore.
  5. Oct 2, 2019
    74
    Case and Newman trade lines, finish each other’s thoughts, reveal the unspoken meanings of the songs; they’re old friends who find sustenance in each other’s presence. The essential humanity at the heart of this relationship offsets the dread that flows throughout In the Morse Code of Brake Lights, and gently leads the record toward something resembling hope.
  6. Sep 26, 2019
    70
    If In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights isn’t remembered as the peak of The New Pornographers' work, its heart is squarely where it needs to be—and is still head and shoulders above most of the choices we are presented with these days. Electoral or otherwise.
  7. Mojo
    Sep 24, 2019
    60
    Morse Code is more concerned with our collective lost soul rather than individual anxiety. [Nov 2019, p.86]

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 27, 2019
    9
    More Cohesive and an ever expanding mature sound, The New Pornographers are back with full force.
  2. Sep 28, 2019
    9
    Well, after 3 listens I was hooked. Completely hooked. I like this one better than Whiteout Conditions.
    Yes I miss Dan and Kurt, even if
    Well, after 3 listens I was hooked. Completely hooked. I like this one better than Whiteout Conditions.
    Yes I miss Dan and Kurt, even if Joe brings a new dynamic that I like, but really, there's still plenty of hooks and talent on every song here. I give it a 9 because the mix is a little too dense for my taste on some songs, but all else is firing on all cylinders. Wonderful set of songs that keeps the group evolving while being instantly recognisable as TNP, can't ask for more.
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  3. Sep 30, 2019
    9
    Really solid album from one of the most consistent bands. It feels refreshingly straightforward, even though the arrangements are dense andReally solid album from one of the most consistent bands. It feels refreshingly straightforward, even though the arrangements are dense and chaotic, which is a nice trick. There's always a sense of exuberance on Porno's records, but here it is undercut with lyrics that tackle our collective anxieties and sense of impending doom head on. The record as a whole doesn't hit with the same immediacy as Brill Bruisers or Whiteout Conditions, but parts of it feel refreshingly like the band we first heard on Mass Romantic and The Electric Version, a sense of meanings and concepts and instruments all clashing together in new ways. I wish there was a bit more for Case to do, and as always I really with Bejar would come back into the fold. But even without him, this stands with the best of their work. 9/10 Listen to "Surprise Knock", "Need Some Giants", and "One Kind of Solomon". Expand
  4. Feb 4, 2020
    8
    I'm a fairly recent fan.... and I must say this is a new level of ambition for them. "Dense' arrangements at least display a high level ofI'm a fairly recent fan.... and I must say this is a new level of ambition for them. "Dense' arrangements at least display a high level of craft when they are not hook laden, a pleasure for headphone listening. I have fun with strange lyrics that mix a sense enigma with new uses for common phrases... it's just very full and displays a lot of work and imagination. I can't stop replay in my mind for choruses of 'New Backseat Driver' and "Falling Down the Stairs of your Smile', the latter has one of the best, deceptively easy-listening styled, intros of all time. Expand