The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic

Reigning Vancouver melody masters Carl Newman (of Zumpano) and Daniel Bejar (Destroyer) team up for a great debut full of sharp pop hooks and consistently solid performances. Rounding out this mini-supergroup is Limblifter's Kurt Dahle, the Evaporators's John Collins, cow-punk crooner Neko Case and, interestingly, independent filmmaker Blaine Thurier. Whereas Zumpano have made a name for themselves by updating classic '60s melodic pop, the New Pornographers draw on influences that are less specific, at times coming off as new wave refugees. Standout tracks--and there are many--include the disc's grinding, keyboard-driven title track, the bouncy, rollicking singalong "The Slow Descent into Alcoholism," and "Letter From an Occupant," which may just be one of the greatest Canadian pop singles ever written.

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