released May 4th, 2010

from the album - Moves

from all music

The Vancouver indie rock supergroup the New Pornographers features the talents of Zumpano's Carl Newman, the Evaporators' John Collins, Destroyer's Dan Bejar, cartoonist/filmmaker Blaine Thurier, drummer Fisher Rose, and guest vocalist Neko Case. Newman began the band in 1996 as a lark after releasing Zumpano's Goin' Through Changes; one by one, the other members joined the fold, and the New Pornographers' first official rehearsal took place in 1997. By the following year, the group had completed four songs, but then Case left Vancouver for Chicago, Thurier began work on his film Low Self Esteem Girl, and the other members attended to their other bands and projects. Rose left in 1999, and Limblifter/Age of Electric drummer Kurt Dahle and guitarist Todd Fancey joined the Canadian supergroup. With a solid lineup in tow, the New Pornographers reunited and began recording again in early 2000, completing their debut album, Mass Romantic, in time for a fall release and critical acclaim. Ray Davies joined the band at SXSW in fall 2001, performing the Kinks classic "Starstruck" for the first time ever. After a brief North American tour, each member returned to their respective projects by 2002. Bejar recorded with Destroyer, and Case headed out on the road with Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds in support of her second solo album, Blacklisted. Nobody strayed too far, however, for the New Pornographers headed back into the studio before the year's end to work on a follow-up to Mass Romantic. The pop-powered Electric Version, which appeared in spring 2003, marked their first for Matador. Twin Cinema followed in 2005 and garnered a good deal of critical praise, receiving near-perfect rankings from such influential outlets as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. Bolstered by such a positive reception ó as well as the success of Neko Case's Fox Confessor Brings the Flood in 2006 ó the group went in a mellower direction with 2007's Challengers.

album review

Usually, the whole trick behind pop music is to appear effortless, but the New Pornographers turn that equation on its head, making it a habit of showing their work in every tune. So dense their songs, so labyrinthine their lyrics, they tend to inspire admiration, not slack-jawed wonder, but itís to the Canadian supergroupís great credit that the music never feels like intellectual exercise: the hooks are there, theyíre just not immediate. Fortunately, Together -- the groupís fifth album -- does feel immediate, a muscular riposte to 2007ís inward-gazing Challengers; itís a record that sounds sinewy even when slathered with strings. When the cellos are really sawing away, as they are from the moment the record starts, the scale of the New Pornographers' ambition and melodic dedication often recall an ELO without ornamentation (or Jeff Lynneís enduring love of Jerry Lee Lewis boogie, for that matter), occasionally fronted by Robyn Hitchcock in the guise of Destroyerís Dan Bejar, whose flights of impenetrable fancy do not seem incongruous because A.C. Newmanís songs are equally elusive. Which is why Neko Case is so crucial to the groupís success: sheís the blood that flows through the band, turning whimsy into something resembling reality, capable of singing ďByzantineĒ without giving the listener pause, which is no small talent. And perhaps thatís why this album is called Together: more than any other of the New Pornographers' albums, this feels like a group effort, each element united to create uniquely cerebral power pop.

Track Listing

1 Moves 3:52
2 Crash Years 4:06
3 Your Hands (Together) 3:32
4 Silver Jenny Dollar 2:52
5 Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk 3:40
6 My Shepherd 4:35
7 If You Can't See My Mirrors 2:56
8 Up in the Dark 3:10
9 Valkyrie in the Roller Disco 3:32
10 A Bite Out of My Bed 3:13
11 Daughters of Sorrow 3:07
12 We End Up Together 5:46