The New Pornographers: Whiteout Conditions (Collected Works/Concord) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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The New Pornographers

Whiteout Conditions

Collected Works/Concord

Apr 06, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The New Pornographers’ first release on their own Collected Works label and without longtime mainstay Dan Bejar (also of Destroyer), but also with new drummer Joe Seiders as a permanent member, Whiteout Conditions continues very much in the same vein as 2010’s Together and 2014’s Brill Bruisers. It’s also got the introspection and experimentation characteristic of 2007’s underrated Challengers, long resigned to leader and songwriter Carl Newman’s solo records. A noticeable difference on their recent records is that Blaine Thurier’s synths and Kathryn Calder’s keyboards are highlighted more in the mix than on any of their early albums, though otherwise one could take most of these tunes, place them on 2003 sophomore album Electric Version as bonus tracks, and not really notice the difference. At this point, they have their formula down. That formula is, of course, a dozen or so power-pop gems, mostly written by Newman and occasionally sung by the golden-throated Neko Case. As always, these songs (including the opener “Play Money” and “This is the World of the Theatre”) are some of the true highlights of the album, displaying the fact that Case is as adept at singing Newman’s upbeat corkers as she is on the country and soul flavored balladry that characterizes her great solo records. The lyrics, as usual, are a nonsensical Burroughs-esque mishmash, though Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” is referenced, highlighting their love of ‘70s pop culture. (

Author rating: 7/10

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April 10th 2017

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April 14th 2017

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May 11th 2017

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July 23rd 2020

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