steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The New Pornographers

"Electric Version" CD

Mint Records

Genres: power pop

Mint Records
PO Box 3613
Vancouver, BC
V6B 3Y6 Canada

May 12 - 18 2003

Don't fret, kiddies.  This is only the sophomore album, The New Pornographers have not yet attempted a big "reinvention."  No, that will come somewhere between their fourth and fifth albums, most likely.  But until then, we've got years of uppity power pop ahead of us (assuming they don't break up anytime soon), so get out your dancing boots and get ready to sing along.

I'm going to keep this short.  Electric Version is a fantastic album.  If you liked Mass Romantic, then you're pretty much obligated to shell out the twelve-odd dollars this disc costs to satisfy your urgent thirst for New Porn pop.  And you're not going to be disappointed.  Songs like the title-track and the genius "All for Swinging For You Around" are pure throwbacks to the energetic explosions of pop sound that characterized their debut.  Meanwhile, tracks like "Testament to Youth in Verse" and "Ballad of a Comeback Kid" - perhaps the least Mass Romantic-esque songs on this album (and that's not saying much) - aren't as relentlessly driving, instead taking things a bit slower.  This combination of energy and gentleness adds more depth and balance to The New Pornographers' sound, which could help win over those who felt that Mass Romantic was a bit too much of a power pop overdose.

To put it bluntly, you know you're gonna go out and buy this album.  The New Pornographers have recorded another record jam-packed with melody after melody, and you're only going to regret it if you miss out.  Immediately accessible and satisfyingly long-lasting, Electric Version is the type of summer pop album that keeps you singing along until long into November.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 songs, distributed by the label, released 2003]