Sunday, December 18, 2005

Albums Of The Year: Number 14

Not that anyone could surely be surprised by its attitude these days, but the NME couldn't have dropped the ball any more conclusively this year then when they spent half of the already small live review of the New Pornographers' first ever London show riffing on how they'd only gone because they expected naked ladies to be there. (Well, there are partly unclothed photos of Neko Case floating about, but let that pass.) A month earlier Carl Newman reckoned "it's really cool that the NME has become less powerful". Fair enough, but it does mean this gloriously power-poppy album has disappeared under the national radar again.

Twin Cinema is the point at which the - hang on, New Pornographers review contractual obligation ahead - Canadian indie supergroup took a hard look at their Big Star/Rubinoos/Beach Boys leanings and decided it was time to take them as far as they could. The results would surely find a welcoming home in most houses that value their hook-laden proper pop as it used to be, but now there's stirrings of a darkness previously hinted at in Carl Newman and Case's solo works, if without the overbearing AOR aspects of both. The Jessica Numbers makes like the Who before making a last ditch attempt for a place on Funeral's tracklisting, while Neko's big chance this time comes on These Are the Fables, a melancholic strummer interrupted by Crosby, Stills and Nash rehearsing next door. Clearly these are also people who know their way around a studio, liberally sprinkling these songs with Nuggets sonic trickery and odd little musical touches. You know how sometimes we all talk about bands who we say could be huge if anyone noticed them? The New Pornographers might be exhibit A.

LISTEN IN: Sing Me Spanish Techno
EXTRA FEATURE: A briefish history

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