A heart should always go one step too far

It has been ages since I’ve waxed psychotic about Carl Newman or The New Pornographers. So, in honor of their new album,“Challengers” a little spoojing is in order.

First of all, the album is really fucking good. You should go buy it right now. You will not regret the purchase.

However, there is a slight caveat. “Challengers” is a grower. It’s not a love at first listen kind of album. It will take you a few listens to warm up to the back and forth singing thing going on in “Myriad Harbor” or the way Neko sings “deus ex machina, good morning Christina” (though once you learn that lyric is a little tip of the hat to the new Mrs. Carl Newman it might make you want to vomit in jealousy, but that might just be me).

Once you let “Challengers” grow on you a little bit, I am sure you will love it as much as I do. It’s not ground-breaking by any stretch of the imagination. It will not smack you around and make your heart race like the first time you heard Mass Romantic, (but then that will never happen again). It is New Pornographers goodness, and in a year rife with disappointing follow-ups (erm, Wilco, The Shins, and well, frankly, that new Rilo Kiley album is unlistenable garbage), good makes me absolutely giddy.

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  1. Holtz 23.Aug.07 at 1:04 am

    You didn’t like the Wilco album? I actually prefer it to Ghost is Born, I like the laid back vibe of it.

  2. Jodi 23.Aug.07 at 8:31 am

    It’s okay. I just found it a little underwhelming, same with The Shins record. Just kinda, blah.

  3. SpellsGood 23.Aug.07 at 1:03 pm

    Yeah, I was gonna say if “Challengers” is a grower, “Sky Blue Sky” is definitely a shower! Never thought I’d like a Wilco CD better than “A.M.” or “Being There,” but this one’s at least as good, IMHO.

  4. Jodi 23.Aug.07 at 1:37 pm

    Well, SpellsGood, I hate to tell you that the best Wilco CD is Summerteeth, and Sky Blue Sky is no Summerteeth.

  5. SpellsGood 24.Aug.07 at 10:08 am

    Ah, I forgot Summerteeth…how could I? I do love that one, as well. Did your disappointment over Sky Blue Sky cause your twisted Tweedy dream?

    I have some Neko Case solo stuff; now I have to finally check out the New Pornographers. The list grows….

  6. Jodi 24.Aug.07 at 10:15 am

    How could you forget Summerteeth? I am ashamed of you.

    I don’t think my Sky Blue Sky disappointment had anything to do with the dream. Because I’ve pretty much forgiven Jeff Tweedy for everything because of that one version of California Stars.

  7. david 25.Aug.07 at 8:13 am

    For me, Summerteeth is my favorite Wilco disc, if only for “Via Chicago.”

    Challengers is definitely one of the better discs of the year (fun, smart and even danceable in places).


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