The New Pornographers are one of the bands I had in mind when I first started posting essential albums, but I’ve been putting in off in fear that I could not do the band justice in my writing. They only formed in 1997 but basically created instant classics that I think are going to outlast all the other hyped bands that come out every five minutes. What do they sound like? I guess power pop is how they have been described, with influences cited as Cheap Trick, the Cars, Burt Bacharach and Brian Wilson. The songs are insanely melodic with lots of layered instruments, including pianos, organs, and acoustic/electric combos, and harmonized vocals. They also have a rotating lineup of male and female singers, including Neko Case, who is known for her solo work wihich is more country-based. It is hard to pick a best album. Many would go with Electric Version, which came out in 2003.
I’m posting the whole discography here, because you should own all their albums. Period. End of story. Listening to them will make you understand good songwriting, musicianship, lyrics, singing ability, the whole deal.
Here’s the discography listed out by song. If you are overwhelmed by this, I can let you know that the best songs are (and many like to argue with me over this)
- The Slow Descent into Alcoholism
- Letter From an Occupant*
- The Body Says No
- The Laws Have Changed
- The New Face of Zero and One
- Miss Teen Wordpower
- When I Was a Baby*
- The Bleeding Heart Show
- Twin Cinema
*Tracks so good I actually cry.
And here is each album individually. Believe me, you won’t be sorry.
[MASS ROMANTIC] (2000)
[ELECTRIC VERSION] (2003)
[TWIN CINEMA] (2005)