Monday, August 25, 2014

Album Review - The New Pornographers / Brill Bruisers

After teasing us with the brilliant lead single, Brill Bruisers, The New Pornographers opened up the new offering a week early on iTunes a week before its scheduled release.  It is a loving and nostalgic celebration of 60's and 70's pop music that is crafted into something completely new.  Perhaps they drew influence from the Brill Building itself in Times Square which housed the publishing of some of the best pop music of the same era by authors such as Simon, Diamond, and Bacharach.  After listening to it about 500 times I thought I would weigh in with my thoughts.  Below is a track by track blow. This is completely stream of consciousness as I listen.  It's not thought out or analyzed.  It is just what I think and how I feel at the moment these songs enter my ears.  For the best experience I recommend listening for yourself.  My words are nothing compared to the music contained on this album.  They are the true artists.  And they are artists at the top of their form.

Brill Bruisers - Put The Beach Boys on a Carousel and you have Brill Bruisers.  This is Summery Pop Goodness at its best.  I could listen to 14 tracks of this song alone.  This track got me so excited when it was released that I knew I had to see them in concert this tour.

Champions of Red Wine - With Neko Case singing leads on this one I feel like I am transformed to an upbeat, 80's, MTV video.  I don't know if her vocals have ever been more fitting for a New Pornographers song.

Fantasy Fools - The deeper I get into this the more I love it.  This track is almost giving me an ELO feel with a retrofitted vocal styling.

War On The East Coast - Not my favorite track at first.  Given how good this album is I am still a little surprised that this is the second single but after many listens I like its diversity and how it differs in feel from the rest of the album.  That might be because it is a Dan Bejar track.

Backstairs - This track kind of gives me the feel of what is Daft Punk played 'I'm Not In Love' by 10cc.  I love the atmosphere they are painting.  This track is definitely a highlight.  I am surprised at how the keyboards take the lead for a good portion of this album. 

Marching Orders - Another Neko track.  Her vocals are used to an acute precision on this album.  Her styling is different and highlighted perfectly.  The harmonizing, on this track but the whole album, I believe are at a whole new level for The New Pornographers.  I really feel that A.C. Newman really has outdone himself.  This album in a description is a smile.  A happy feeling in time.  Like a carnival.  I feel that A.C. Newman may be at top form for his craft.

Another Drug Deal Of The Heart - This song has an Erasure feel to it.  It's more of a deep cut on the album.  I don't say that in a bad way.  With 13 good songs something has to be on the bottom.

Born With A Sound (With Amber Webber) - It is fun to hear Amber Webber in this light and away from Black Mountain.  This track is another example of the staccato chord playing.  It's like a stab stab stabbing progression of keyboards and guitar chords.

Wide Eyes - This track has a more traditional New Pornographers feel to it.  This song could easily be on Challengers.

Dancehall Domine - A definite 60's feel here.  I feel like I could be at the beach dancing and jumping around.  If I an ever dancing and jumping at the beach this is my soundtrack

Spidyr - Very Spacy and Futuristic, almost Bowie-like, that is until the harmonica kicks in.  It startled me at first and took a while to get used to but now I can not picture this song without it.

Hi-Rise - The driving base cuts through this atmospheric setting.  I can not believe I am 12 tracks in and the album is still this strong

You Tell Me Where - Another track that I feel is more of a typical sounding New Pornographers track.  I really felt that most of this album was a happy departure from their traditional sound.  I had read years ago in The Big Takeover an interview with A.C. Newman where he said he only new how to write songs one way.  I think he may have learned a new way since the last album.

That is it folks.   Don't stream it.  Own it.  You owe it to yourself.

See you when the needle drops!



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