Monday, April 26, 2010

The New Pornographers - Together

What’s love? It’s what turns up in the dark. That’s according to the New Pornographers, who have created another stunning array of songs on the subject. Themes of togetherness and love, both familial and romantic, turn up all over the album. More often than not, the love they find inspiration in is the kind that falls apart. A.C. Newman wrote most of the songs here, Neko Case is as much of a force on the mic as ever, and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, Beirut’s Zach Condon, and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark contribute to the star-studded cast of players. The opening track, “Moves,” starts with a crunchy heavy metal guitar riff, only to be juxtaposed by the delicate piano clinking that enters next. It sets the tone for the entire album, which builds piece-by-piece, bringing multi-faceted chamber pop to life. The (mostly) Vancouver-based bandmates prove yet again they are masters of the popular song, paying tribute to George Harrison on “Crash Years” and Chicago’s famous “25 or 6 to 4” on the aforementioned opener. Slow-burners like “Valkyrie in the Roller Disco” find as much power and life as the uptempo counterparts, like the Belle & Sebastian-esque “If You Can’t See My Mirrors.” It’s not going to take a dark room to find love for Together. The bond finds your ears regardless.

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