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Although I had heard a song or two from the New Pornographers, I never felt compelled to pick up an album - until Challengers, their latest work. I heard a review of them on Sound Opinions (an NPR rock 'n' roll talk show - also available as a podcast) and the two cuts they played got under my skin enough that I felt I had to pick up the CD. And, I'm glad I did.

The New Pornographers are an indie "super group" whose members all have successful careers with other bands. They are considered a Candian band, but they include (Chicago) local girl Neko Case. Their style is referred to as power pop ala the Shins.

Not having heard any of their other albums, I can't compare Challengers to their earlier work. But, I believe Challengers is a bit more laid back album - not as "poppy" as their earlier albums. That's OK with me because I like that style. The songs contain rich, robust orchestrations with a mostly acoustic undertone but still lush and full. Looking at the album liners, the musicians play all sorts of instruments and it comes through in the songs. The vocals are great with a nice mix of male and female vocals. The SQ is quite good with good mixing and little if any crush or compression.

I definitely recommend checking out this album.


Mitch
 
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