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The New Pornographers 

Together (Matador)

The past decade was littered with one-album wonders---bands that emerged fully formed on their first release and never quite figured out how to follow it. The New Pornographers, in contrast, have managed to add nuance and depth to their formula with regularly great results. Listeners who never quite moved on from Mass Romantic’s wall-of-sound thrills, though, might be wise to check out Together. Carl Newman and his supergroup recapture some of that initial magic by turning the energy level back on full. The formula’s still intact ---Dan Bejar’s idiosyncratic contributions, Neko Case belting her heart out, a ballad or two for variety---but by adding a robust string accompaniment to the mix, the band brings a new kind of power to their brand of power pop.

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Vol 25, No 12
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