The New Pornographers were one of the earliest posts on 3hive, back three and a half years ago when Sam and I tossed up a handful of MP3s from some of our favorite albums from the year previous. We didn’t offer much in the way of commentary back then (not that we do presently either), so for those who’ve been hiding under a rock for the last three years, and have missed out on The New Pornographers, here’s a bit more to chew on. The sequence to their new album Challengers threw me off on first listen. It starts off with “My Rights Versus Yours” a familiar, subdued type of Carl Newman tune, complete with a french horn (used, surprisingly, for the first time in a New Pornographers’ song). It builds like a rock opera opener and sets up me up to bounce around to a frantic track like “All The Things That Go To Make Heaven And Earth” or “Mutiny, I Promise You.” But my patience is tried and I have to wait through three more songs, including Dan Bejar’s “Myriad Harbor,” before my expectations are rewarded. Dont’ get me wrong, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Each song is great! It’s just going to take repeated listens before I can appreciate the album as a whole, unlike the first listen ecstacy I experienced hearing Electric Version. Considering today’s song-based attention span, I must sound like an old man, talking about spending time with a whole album! Well, this codger appreciates the fact that Newman, Case, Bejar & Co. continue to create whole albums worth those repeated listens.
Original entry 2/17/04:
A sampling of favorites from 2003. A mad rush of hooks to the head.