New Pornographer’s Challengers


6 sept. 2007, 20h04m

New Pornographer’s
[Score 86]

The New Pornographers’s just released their 4th long-player titled Challengers, as with their other discs this one is instantly listenable. Challengers is a slight downturn from Twin Cinema, which is in my opinion one of the 10 best of the decade so far, and would be very difficult to top. That is not to say that Challengers isn’t one of the years best, it is…

The New Pornographers’s has had a difficult time with their image, many see them as a supergroup, while they argue that it is not true, probably because most supergroups fail in the long run. A.C. Newman’s solo record was outstanding, and could be seen as a 5th New Pornographer’s disc, and compared to the other members of the band that is probably true. Dan Bejar’s band Destroyer, and Swan Lake produced critically appraised discs in past couple of years, and many have viewed his contributions to New Pornographers as throw-away’s from his other projects, I would not take that view. Lastly, we can never underestimate the contribution that Neko Case makes to the band, and her solo career is taking off. Her vocals would be sorely missed is she ever chose to leave the band. So, are they a “supergroup”? They are a supergroup by association, but they were members of New Pornographers before they had separate successes (that does not mean these bands formed after New Pornographers, just success did not occur until after), so the term supergroup does not apply in the classic sense.

Challengers continues in the line of outstanding discs that this band has released since 2001’s Mass Romantic. Many of the songs are instantly recognizable, which can be a weakness to many, but I prefer a few trademark tracks. My Rights Versus Yours kicks off the disc, and is one of those trademark tracks, that would have sounded perfect with Twin Cinema’s best tracks. Myriad Harbour is another brilliant track from Dan Bejar, and is among the best tracks he has ever produced. Unguided is another trademark track on Challengers, and is the highpoint for the disc. Where this disc does not measure up to Twin Cinema is in the number of outstanding tracks, that is not to say that it is shallow release, just not as deep as Twin Cinema. Neko Case’s Failsafe is another highlight, its’ melody line among the best of the year.

I truly doubt that Challengers will convince the general public that New Pornographers need some additional attention, but to the true-believers it is just another brilliant disc by one the decades greatest bands.

Song Rating
1.My Rights Versus Yours 10/10
2.All the Old Showstoppers 9/10
3.Challengers 10/10
4.Myriad Harbour 10/10
5.All the Things That Go to Make Heaven and Earth 8/10
6.Failsafe 9/10
7.Unguided 10/10
8.Entering White Cecilia 7/10
9.Go Places 7/10
10.Mutiny, I Promise You 8/10
11.Adventures in Solitude 7/10
12.The Spirit of Giving8/10


  • Skunkette5

    Here's a quick lesson on the apostrophe: In citing the band's name... Correct: The New Pornographers Incorrect: The New Pornographer's In denoting possession (as in the band's album)... Correct: The New Pornographers' Incorrect: The New Pornographers's Now back to your regularly scheduled error-filled intarnets record review...

    7 sept. 2007, 21h18m
  • SportModel

    I just got the New's Pornographer disc, and I think you're right on target so far. It's terrific, but it's not Twin Cinema brilliant. Yet. I'm hoping it's a grower. It took me a while to fully warm up to The New Porn's Ographer's first album, but it turned into a classic. Long live the New Pornographers's's! ;)

    10 sept. 2007, 7h17m
  • sgrieser

    LOL... Thanks for the support... I love the book Eats Shoots & Leaves, which is about punctuation issues, but some take it a little too far... New Pornographers are a great live band, if you ever get a chance to see them... Love when Neko Case is with them... Her voice is even better live than on record. Challengers is still better than 99% of the new music in 2007, but Twin Cinema was better than 100%...

    10 sept. 2007, 16h12m
  • SleepingLessons

    This is poorly written.

    13 sept. 2007, 1h39m
  • ohlihveeah

    The song Challangers is addicting

    28 nov. 2007, 3h16m
  • tstarkmi

    What's with the haters? is not about grammar and sentence structure, people. Go away. I'm glad to see this entry. I bought the Challengers Bonus set from Amazon (the bonus cost about $4 more, and they keep 'releasing' a new song for download with the code about every month or two). I love Challengers. I think it makes a statement that this band continues to gel and create beautiful pop rock music. If you're interested in the bonus material, let me know sgrieser.

    6 jan. 2008, 16h10m
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