- Summary: The seventh full-length release for the Canadian indie rock band led by A.C. Newman does not feature Dan Bejar (he was working on music for a Destroyer album).
- Record Label: Concord
- Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
- More Details and Credits »
MagnetApr 14, 2017Even in the more sedate moments, there's an underlying insistence that ties the 11-track set together in a typically neat package that sits comfortably and appropriately in one of rock's greatest band catalogs. [No. 141, p.58]
UncutApr 3, 2017Animating even the slowest songs on the album is a sense of play and possibility, the realisation that these musicians can shake off the dust and still surprise us. [May 2017, p.36]
Apr 9, 2017I have been a fan of the New Pornographers for a long time. "Mass Romantic" is my favorite album by them, and even though that album came outI have been a fan of the New Pornographers for a long time. "Mass Romantic" is my favorite album by them, and even though that album came out seventeen years ago, The New Pornographers are still releasing excellent albums... not bad for a band that originally were formed to jam out unpolished B-sides from the various other projects by it's core members.
"Electric Version" is a great album, and I like "Twin Cinema" a lot too, although not as much as the first two; then the next two albums, "Challengers" and "Together" came out. I didn't like them when I first listened to them, and I still to this day think it's a noticeable point where the band had a drop off in quality. Overall I do not like the pace of these two albums, and I think that the song writing and lyrical/musical structure is severely lacking, and although there are some really good songs here ("Myriad Harbour", "Unguided", "Crash Years", "Up in The Dark"), in my opinion, the overall albums start to finish aren't as strong.
In 2014 "Brill Bruisers" came out. This album is an amazing return to form, and also the birth of a new style for the band; blending psychedelic pop with loud guitars and synths, and using elements of new wave, glam and power pop to create something amazing! Every song is really well crafted, and the production on the album is perfectly booming and in-your-face. This was my second favorite album by The New Pornographers up until about two days ago...
"Mass Romantic" still holds my number one spot in the discography, but the newly released, "Whiteout Conditions" now holds the number two spot for me.
"Whiteout Conditions" is an amazing album that blends the "Brill Bruisers" powerpop and indie/new wave with more electronic/synth-pop, and psychedelic; with a higher emphasis on spacial ambiance, vocal melodies, and almost krautrock-like musical breaks and transitions. Every song is nearly overwhelming, but not in an intense way (as "BB" was). What i'm talking about is more of a layered consistency track to track; if you listen to this album a second time, you're going to hear a lot of things that you never noticed the first time. There isn't a bad song included, and the only moment where I was slightly taken out of the flow of the album was during the fifth song, "Darling Shade", which is still a good song, but as I said, it takes you out of the flow of things a little bit.
The first time I listened to this album I had it on in the background, and nothing really stood out to me, but when I played it for the second time on my home stereo; and while actually listening intently to it, it blew me away. You might need a couple listens to really start appreciating this album, but believe me it's well worth it.
Favorite tracks: Play Money, Whiteout Conditions, We've Been Here Before, Avalanche Alley
10/10 [A+]… Expand
May 16, 2017Time after time after time did these melodies infuse the music with brilliance, identity, and personality, and although similar in sound andTime after time after time did these melodies infuse the music with brilliance, identity, and personality, and although similar in sound and purpose these songs all reached a wonderfully high level in sensational delight, which makes this an awesome work that I will certainly be considering for best album of the year. My Score: 157/180 (Great) = 8.7/10… Expand
Apr 17, 2017Although more serious and thematically consistent than previous submissions, WC is maybe the most consistently melodic and listenable albumAlthough more serious and thematically consistent than previous submissions, WC is maybe the most consistently melodic and listenable album they have yet released. Although Bejar's absence is noticeable, it is unlikely his songs would have fit comfortably within this album anyway. Although he will hopefully return in the future, this is a very solid contribution to the NP's discography and a tour de force of great songwriting & execution.… Expand
Apr 10, 2017The problem with success in today's music world, is that it's never enough. The hipster mantra of "I liked their first album best" isThe problem with success in today's music world, is that it's never enough. The hipster mantra of "I liked their first album best" is everyone's response to every album ever. The new one never matches up, until the next release; and the reviews of previous albums contained in every new review show how good (or bad) the last record REALLY was. Let's skip all that. This is a great album. It ranks among the Pornographers best, and that is high praise. Do we miss Dan's quirky contributions, sure we do, but that doesn't ruin anything. There are tracks (Darling Shade, Juke) that SHOULD make every setlist the Pornos play from now on, and tracks that WILL (Play Money, High Ticket Attractions) — and that is becoming quite a setlist. Let's be honest, if you have a Carl Newman penned song with Neko Case singing lead, that's going to be a damn fine pop song. What has always made The New Pornographers great has been amazing harmonies, quirky yet still hooky melodies, and great sing along bits scattered like chocolate chips in a cookie. All that is here, and it sounds like a good chocolate chip cookie tastes: warm, a little gooey, sweet with just a touch of bitter. If you want to complain it's not as good as before, just remember that the rest of the cookie selection is often stale and boring. Any New Pornographers release deserves some praise, and this album deserves quite a bit.… Expand
Jul 21, 2017A little disappointing with this record since I am a fan of the New Pornographers, but it's still a decent record. Can't really hate the bandA little disappointing with this record since I am a fan of the New Pornographers, but it's still a decent record. Can't really hate the band with killer melodies. Still, it has the same problem I had with Brill Bruiser with the more polished and inconsistent production, as well as the more cryptic lyrics. Still it's a solid record that I can see growing on me over time. But I feel like the band won't be putting out another Twin Cinema or Mass Romantic or Electric Version, which is a shame… Expand
Apr 10, 2017As a longtime fan of the New Pornographers, I buy and savor each of their albums the day they come out. However, this is the first album I'veAs a longtime fan of the New Pornographers, I buy and savor each of their albums the day they come out. However, this is the first album I've been disappointed with. There are a few strong tracks, especially the title cut, which is one of their best. The opening track "Play Money" is also fantastic. However, there is a real sameness throughout that becomes a little grating towards the end. There are also some experimental tracks that I give them credit for but don't work for me. I do have to confess the lack of Dan Bejar creates a hole - his songs always add a little more variety to the mix. AC Newman is a fantastic songwriter and I will be playing some of these cuts on a regular basis, but I do feel a little let down.… Expand
Apr 10, 2017The New Pornographers are a band that has lost their engine.
Kurt Dahle is one of the most imaginative drummers in the business - and KurtThe New Pornographers are a band that has lost their engine.
Kurt Dahle is one of the most imaginative drummers in the business - and Kurt is gone. This is a bigger loss overall than Dan Bejar's departure. At his best, Dahle matches Keith Moon for pumping color, surprise, and humor into his drumming. I actually think Kurt's talent is wasted in the bludgeon-rock of Age of Electric (his long-ago, and current band), while he was perfect for elevating TNPs to something exceptionally intelligent and interesting.
Joe Seiders as successor to Kurt Dahle is the rough equivalent of what Kenney Jones was as successor to Keith Moon: a sane, solid timekeeper who cannot, or is unwilling to, match the inventiveness and power of his predecessor. I'd go further, and say that Joe is simply the wrong drummer for TNPs, but considering the repetition and synth/dance flavor rife through the arrangements in Whiteout, I think he's exactly the sort of drummer that Carl Newman wants for his latest music.
When Kurt quit/was thrown out of TNP, I was hoping that Jon Wurster had the time and inclination to join them. But after hearing the new album, I'm not sure how an inventive, propulsive rock drummer like Wurster could have improved Whiteout, really. Not without a different selection of songs. This album makes it seem as though after all these years, Carl has decided to excise TNP's thunderous alt rock in a bid for commercial success. And he just might find it with this turn... but he's gonna lose many of his long-term fans. Neko Case singing over a drum machine? Yikes. *There's* something we never needed to hear.
Indeed for me, this is the first disposable Pornographers album. Carl seems determined to mutate the Pornographers from a kickass, melodic rock band into an echo of an 80s pop/dance band like (eek!) New Order, or Depeche Mode ... and that just makes me sad.… Expand
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