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The New Pornographers 

Twin Cinema (Matador)

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New Pornographers frontman A.C. Newman has complained that he doesn't want his band's third LP to get the typical Pornos blurbs, all that stuff about driving along some coastal freeway with the top down and the music turned up loud. But Newman and his bandmates can't contain their musical glee, even when they're trying hard to keep a cap on it. Twin Cinema doesn't skimp on the minor chords or soulful slower numbers, but if the record represents Newman and company's attempt to downshift, well, it's a glorious failure.

But critics who thank their lucky stars when Pornos records arrive in the mail owe the band a favor or two. So, with that in mind, there'll be no talk here -- however apt -- of sugar rushes or pedal-to-the-metal songwriting. Instead, think of the New Pornographers as a musical version of Emergen-C, that vitamin powder you take after a hard night of drinking.

Emergen-C boasts 1,111 percent of the daily value of vitamin C, 500 percent of B6, and 416 percent of B12. The New Pornographers are kind of like that: 1,111 percent of the daily value of sticky pop melodies, 500 percent of zippy guitars, and 416 percent of giddy synths. Not to mention 25 percent of your daily Neko Case and another 25 percent of Dan Bejar's disjointedly groovy songcraft. In other words, the band is an embarrassment of riches, just the thing to rocket you out of the doldrums.

More by Maya Singer

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