Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Together, New Pornographers

Can a band become lost under the identity they created for themselves? The New Pornographers are always who they have claimed to be. A powerful group of voices. All with outstanding solo careers. And, somehow able to manage time for a super group. Could the New Pornographers be the boy band of indie rock? A hipster version of N Sync?

All the pieces of a New Porno album are at play in Together. Everyone sings, plays, and sounds exactly as you expect. Their personalities don't so much blend together as well as their voices do. You can tell the difference from track to track between who is in charge. The one member who stands out the most is always Dan Bejar. His voice, his lyrics, his style... some experimental abstract version of a pop song. In fact, even though Bejar doesn't quite fit with the rest of the band, he is still my favorite.

There isn't a single song on the album that really stands out. In fact, other than songs from Twin Cinema, I have always found the music of New Pornographers to live in a realm of slightly above background music. Their sound is lively pop. A sense of Beach Boys-Mama and the Papas-Beatles classic bubblegum pop.

Together is certainly better than Challenges, their previous album. Challenges was slow, boring, ballad filled. So, Together is certainly a welcome return to a sound with a tad bit more edge. I would never call the New Pornographers a bad band. Or a boring band. Or a mediocre band. They certainly are filled with talent. But, sometimes all that talent disguises the art.


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