Thursday, July 13, 2017

The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions (Concord, 2017)

The New Pornographers
Whiteout Conditions

Rating: 7.5 melted ice cubes out of 10

I love pretty much everything about the pop stylings of the New Pornographers, but there are two things I love most about them - the inclusion of Dan Bejar and Neko Case.  In fact, while I normally quite like AC Newman (and I'm well aware that he's the real brains behind this endeavor), sometimes I get mad that he is singing songs that those two could be performing instead.  Which isn't particularly fair, because most of his tracks are aces too... they're just not Dan and/or Neko.  Few are. 

Anyways, "Whiteout Conditions" is the seventh record by this ragtag supergroup, making the New Pornographers more stable and longer-lasting than most of groups from which the band members are actually "appearing."  In a lot of ways this is more of the same from TNP - upbeat, catchy, and very poppy songs (that some people and/or reviewers like to call power pop even though it isn't power pop at all in my opinion, but I admit I'm a bit of an old school purist with that genre term), but with a couple of key differences: no Dan Bejar (boo!!!), who was busy on the new Destroyer album apparently (yay!!!); and it's way more upbeat/electronic than the band typically is.  One of life's great pleasures is hearing a country crooner like Neko belting out a dance pop jam like album opener "Play Money."   

Long story short, if you're already a fan you know you're going to pick up "Whiteout Conditions" anyways; and if you've never listened, I reckon it's as good a place to start as any.  

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