New Pornographers’ “Together” Shows Crash Years Are Still With Us

It would have been nice if  “Crash Years,” the recently released single featuring Neko Case and a summary in miniature of the New Pornographers’ sound, had referred to an epoch we were leaving behind.  ‘Course, releasing Together on Tuesday, only to have the markets take a vertiginous plunge two days later does make one think the Crash Years will be with us for a while yet. At least we have The New Pornographers to entertain us; you may as well enjoy the best dance band imaginable as the Titanic begins its tilt.

These Pornographers aren’t so new anymore, given they have releases that just barely stay inside the frame of two decades (Mass Romantic came out in 2000.) They are still capable of astonishing, which they do — they really do — with the gorgeous, glorious “We End Up Together,” which rivals Challengers’ “Fortune” as the best final album song in a long, long while. (There are bonus tracks after “We End Up Together,” but they’re not much of a bonus.)

What’s different about their fifth studio album is: we hear the occasional guitar solo (heretofore, with the exception of Kurt Dahl’s drumming, the spotlight’s been on the singing, not on Todd Fancy, or really any particular musician or instrument, ‘cept the occasional cello, which is widely evident here); Dan Bejar seems to have gone soft on us, or at least likes singing songs that are sappy and don’t invoke either Jackie or snakes; Neko is everywhere (yay!); and Carl Newman is a little bit more of an ensemble player.  We can’t say the melodies are as enticing as Twin Cinema, but this is a strong effort, maybe stronger than Challengers.

Somewhere today we read a description of the New Ps as what would have happened if George Martin produced Cheap Trick.  That’s funny, and we wish we could give the writer credit, but we can’t remember where we saw it.

Who cares if we’re broke again, who cares if crawling from the wreckage of the crash years we just got run over again.  At least we’re together with our friends, singing in the chorus.

One Response to “New Pornographers’ “Together” Shows Crash Years Are Still With Us”

  1. […] not with Challengers, and not with this year’s Together. However, even though we expressed a little disappointment when Together was released, they’ve still go it, and with a song like the breathtaking […]

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