THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS Electric Version (Mint) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
First off, I'd like to thank the New Pornographers for saving me from another summer of holding private dance parties in my apartment with alternating soundtracks of the Ramones and Blondie's Greatest Hits. Electric Version, the second disc by the Canrock supergroup, is a bouncy delight, the ideal summer party record. Sparkling production, witty lyrics and feather-light falsetto harmonies drive its 13 adrenalicious power pop tracks, which remind me of road trips spent singing along to the Cars, the Clash and the Beach Boys. It ain't pure perfection - the exhilaratingly hooky songs are so similar in tone that they can sound almost identical, which could be improved if the Pornos'd let Neko Case have more lead vocal duties (All For Swinging You Around, with Case front and centre, is a standout here) - but, hell, it's freakin' fantastic for pogoing in my bedroom.