Even if you claim to disdain sweet melodies and clever arrangements, Vancouver's New Pornographers will make you jump out of your chair and do a little dance. Or at least enthusiastically bop your head with a good-sized smile on your face. Or if you're feeling grumpy, just tap your foot along. If they don't make you move around at least a little bit, you're obviously hopelessly maladjusted. The band's approach offers something for everone: their songs are wonderfully melodic but never cloying, their arrangements are clever and catchy but not light, and their lyrics are playful and intelligent but not the least bit precious. This is 21st century power pop done right.
It always helps to have lots of talent in one place. Frontman Carl Newman was one of the key characters in Vancouver's mid '90s indie pop explosion with his previous band
The band technically formed in 1996 but thanks to its members' various commitments, didn't get down to the business of recording an album until 2000, when they released the quirky, eclectic, and utterly luminous Mass Romantic on Vancouver's