Thursday, September 27, 2007
New Pornographers, "Challengers"; Emma Pollack, "Adrenaline" (single)
New Pornographers have been indie rock poster children practically since their conception. With those accolades come responsibilities such as the need to exude geeky cool, spew quirky lyrical imagery. and other indie rock hallmarks. They'd settled on a formula that had produced three nearly indistinguishable albums, a formula that they could have pleasantly ridden with until the end of time or until they got bored with it. Many fans would have been perfectly happy with the first option, but it seems that the second option was the one that actually came to pass. "Challengers" is a pop album with wistful boy/girl vocal interplay and the breeziest, catchiest tunes of their career by far. Their over-reliance on choppy tempos and bouncy guitar hacking has nearly vanished -- in its place, we have the new Delgados. In the meantime, former Delgado Emma Pollack wants to be the new Coldplay. Or maybe she is moonlighting as an uncredited songwriter on the new New Pornographers album?