BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
It’s never been exactly easy to get a handle on the New Pornographer’s motif. A freewheeling cooperative (members include Neko Case and A.C. Newman), their music offers the impression they’re positioning tongue firmly in cheek. Even so, their articulate arrangements and songwriting strengths belie any notion they’re playing strictly for laughs.
Like Arcade Fire, Polyphonic Spree and Of Montreal, their sound is complex and even difficult to discern, although the overall vibe is one of effortless enthusiasm. Whether it takes the form of the exuberant opener “Brill Bruisers” or the boisterous delivery of “Marching Orders,” the new album clearly finds them exploiting a playful mood and eager to entertain. For the most part, the music is driven at a higher velocity, with the propulsive “War on the East Coast,” “Champions of Red Wine” and “Fantasy Fools” more or less setting the tempo. Other songs are spry and suggestive, offering the impression that for all the ambiance and intrigue, they would rather not be to taken too seriously at all. Unless you feel you really want to of course.
DOWNLOAD: “Brill Bruisers,” “War on the East Coast,” “Champions of Red Wine”