The New Pornographers - Electric Version

The New Pornographers
Electric Version

With so many high profile albums released this year, it’s hard to imagine an indie record having the potential of turning heads away from the mainstream, especially if the band responsible is considered “just a side project” by some. But on their latest album, Electric Version, The New Pornographers manage to create an intoxicating blend of sugar and substance that is capable of leaving its mark. Their second release is as sharp as a tack, bringing together the talents of a number of diverse musicians and friends who share a love of powerpop sensibilities and catchy lyrics. And while each member puts their own particular spin on varying parts of the album, the resulting melodies converge as a cohesive whole, leaving the listener no time to drool between songs.

The group wastes no time cranking out the sunshine, urging listeners to call in sick and head for the beaches. Beginning with the title track, brainchild Carl Newman’s falsetto voice toys with the first few lines, holding back until Alt-Country siren Neko Case’s effortless harmonies punch holes through the ozone. Anthemic guitars glitter while infectious choruses cascade on “The Laws Have Changed,” when Case proclaims “All Hail...what will be revealed today? When we peer to the great unknown, from the land of the throne.” Retro keyboards pulsate alongside fast paced drumming, submerging the listener in sound that has been drenched in new-wave decadence. And in “All for Swinging You Around,” hooks within hooks lead the way to a happier time, when kids like Kevin Bacon could teach a town how to dance. Clocking in at a little over forty-five minutes, The New Pornographers’ refreshingly energetic take on powerpop is both catchy and inspiring. While new releases come and go, Electric Version transcends the occasional fling that can litter a record collection, reminding us that sometimes a spoonful of sugar is just what the doctor ordered.