Thursday, April 6, 2017


The New Pornographers
Whiteout Conditions
Collected Works

The long awaited new album from The New Pornographers will be released Friday, April 7, but if you haven’t heard the three singles that have already been released, here’s my take on them. While the whole album sounds like early Game Theory, the late Scott Miller’s band, these three songs also sound like a souped up/synthed up take on TNP's first two albums, while continuing the sound of their last album, Brill Brusiers. And they’re all terrific.

The first single, High Ticket Attractions, is the most rock. It's fast, with more guitars, and a lyric about Trump, the unease before he got elected. But it could also be about someone throwing you completely off balance for a really long time, and falling into a relationship where you know there’s always more to it than meets the eye, no matter how wonderful it is. Carl sings this one.

Neko sings This Is The World Of The Theater, and shows again how amazing her voice can be. The lyric could be a plea to someone not to go, or about knowing, or not knowing, where you stand with someone. This is more of a pop song, but the guitars at the start add a lot of grit.

Neko duets with Carl on the title track, Whiteout Conditions, which is the most subdued and synthed up musically, with a lyric straightforwardly about depression. The feel is somewhat dreamy.

Dan is not on the album, TNP’s first without him. While there are songs of Dan’s I like, in the end, I always prefer Carl’s.

TNP is on their own label now, Collected Works, and it’s freed them up to make some of their best music yet. I'll post the full album review later in the month, after a fun time listening to it.  (I don’t do well with streams, it’s the learning disability, so that’s why I’m not reviewing the stream on NPR or the CBC.)

Andrea Weiss

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