The New Pornographers

Record review

Phases & Stages

The New Pornographers

Twin Cinema (Matador)

It took half a dozen members and almost a decade, but the New Pornographers have finally gotten very adult and a little hardcore. Their third LP's title, Twin Cinema, is the perfect preview: Arrangements are superimposed on top of melodies so dense you'd think you were experiencing two albums simultaneously. An easy assumption to make, with talented folks like chief songwriter, A.C. Newman, and part-time Pornographers, full-time solo artists, Neko Case and Dan Bejar at the helm. On "The Bleeding Heart Show," the band mixes a traditional power-pop chorus with a finale of Zulu-inspired Isicathamiya. "The Bones of an Idol" takes Case's blissed-out voice and marries it with post-punk. It's evident that the band's traditionally simple sound has been augmented with greater influences and a desire to overstuff, miraculously without overkill. Even the album's rare acoustic anthems ("Streets of Fire," "Falling Through Your Clothes") are full of so much electricity they couldn't be called "unplugged." So, how does this Vancouver ensemble keep up the pace and not seem bloated or schizophrenic? Perhaps because the twin sounds of Cinema are conjoined but not identical.

****

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