The New Pornographers – In the Morse Code of Brake Lights: Where we’re going, we don’t need Rhodes.

Artist: The New Pornographers
Album: In the Morse Code of Brake Lights
Year: 2019
Grade: B-

In Brief: This album brings back some of the sonic diversity that Whiteout Conditions lacked, especially with violinist Simi Stone upgraded to full membership. But song-for-song, it just doesn’t hit nearly as hard, and I think part of the problem is that despite all the singers in this band, we’re really only hearing the artistic voice of Carl Newman. No longer having Dan Bejar around kind of exposes his limitations as full-time band leader.

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The New Pornographers – Whiteout Conditions: Got so hooked on a feeling, I started dealing.

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Artist: The New Pornographers
Album: Whiteout Conditions
Year: 2017
Grade: B

In Brief: The supergroup’s first album without Dan Bejar is one of their most stylistically consistent and enjoyable… and also perhaps one of their least offbeat and exploratory. I definitely enjoy it, but I can’t help but feel like something’s missing.

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Kathryn Calder: Come show me something I can’t see.

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Artist: Kathryn Calder
Album: Kathryn Calder
Year: 2015
Grade: B

In Brief: A far mellower set of songs than Bright & Vivid, but it’s not without its noisy surprises. Kathryn’s voice is like a refreshing drink of cool water, and she has a gift for melodies that are simple and yet breathtaking. The slight bits of exotic instrumentation really help to elevate even this record’s sparsest songs above the ordinary.

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The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers: There Is Another West Much Wilder.

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Artist: The New Pornographers
Album: Brill Bruisers
Year: 2014
Grade: B

In Brief: Easily their most fun record since Twin Cinema almost 10 years ago. I love how energetic this record is and how the shared lead vocals on several tracks add to the sense of camaraderie. There might be one or two clunkers, but amidst 13 tracks, they’ve got a little room to fiddle around.

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Kathryn Calder – Bright and Vivid: Yep, it lives up to its title.

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Artist: Kathryn Calder
Album: Bright and Vivid
Year: 2011
Grade: A-

In Brief: In my favorite side project by any member of The New Pornographers thus far, Kathryn Calder proves herself to be more than just an understudy for Neko Case.

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The New Pornographers – Together: Newer Porn Vs. Old Porn

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Artist: The New Pornographers
Album: Together
Year: 2010
Grade: B-

In Brief: Twin Cinema‘s still their high-water mark. I see Together as kind of a synthesis between that and the more experimental Challengers, with hints of the old days thrown in.

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The New Pornographers – Twin Cinema: New Porn Vs. Old Porn

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Artist: The New Pornographers
Album: Twin Cinema
Year: 2005
Grade: B+

In Brief: A wildly fun roller coaster ride of bizarre thoughts and part-manic, part-textured performances. Twin Cinema is The New Pornographers’ best work thus far.

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