Photography by tarcinrengi
Oh my oh my… It’s finally here. Probably my most anticipated album of 2010, the one I’ve impatiently pretended to have tons of patience for! The one album I’ve been indulging in the singles popping out of Matador even though I really just want albums, yes, the new New Pornographers has joined the rest of the massive number of leaks on the intertubals this week and made it’s way to my ear canals!
As you may or may not remember… I LOVE Challengers, as much as I loved all their previous albums, Challengers saw a progression, a maturation, to something a little meatier, ultimately landing either at #2 or #3 on our best of the year! It was just brilliant.
BUT… I don’t think it was “as loved” by the music crickets out there who seem to want more of the same. When that happens and when I hear about “return to forms” and shit like that, I always worry that a band will try to placate someone or something by recreating a sound, “their sound”, whatever the hell that’s supposed to be. I worry about bands become shells of their former selves instead of just following their heart & ears and doing whatever the fuck they want, fans, followers, and especially crickets, be damned! It’s a disney song, but still, be true to your selves!
So there was some word somewhere about pulling back from where Challengers started to go. But at the same time, I heard about guests on this album, including St. Vincent & my beloved Dap-Kings so I was at once nervous and excited, having no idea what to expect.
Well… yesterday the album showed up on the googles.
The first few seconds into the album, I was nothing but goosebumps & grins. Once again I was humbled & reminded to stop, stop, stop reading these things and just receive the music, as blind possible, no expectations, no preconceived notions, just shut your eyes, open your ears and listen to the album when you get the album!
I think the post title says it all, “gleeful satisfaction” and “KALOO! KALAY!”. This album is unreal. It’s pop perfection, harmonic perfection, beautiful melodies, perfect balance of strings, horns, Newman, Case, and Bejar. It’s fucking brilliant. Call me a fanboy, call me an idiot, I really don’t give two shits… If this is the next step in the evolution of the New Pornographers, jesus christ, where do you go from here?
If I was the ever snarky Pitchfork — a 6.0 for Challengers? Really? Not enough “sugar highs” for ya? I hate it when I find myself reading that site — or any numerical rating site, this would be a 9.8/10. Why a 9.8? Because it had to end at 12 songs? Couldn’t it go for another hour or two or three????
Yeah, I’m in love.
Warning, if I don’t post for the rest of the week, it’s because I’ll be down in a basement somewhere, Together on as loud as I can stand, naked, on a bean bag, half-eaten food rotting on one side, a red bull energy drink filled with only backwash on the other, semi-erect in a trance-like music coma.
Sadly.. It wouldn’t be the first time. And when my LP (and free t-shirt! Thanks Insound! WOOT!) comes in the mail, it may not be my last…
02 The Crash Years
03 Your Hands (Together)
04 Silver Jenny Dollar
05 Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk
06 My Shepherd
07 If You Can’t See My Mirrors
08 Up in the Dark
09 Valkyrie in the Roller Disco
10 A Bite Out of My Bed
11 Daughters of Sorrow
12 We End Up Together