11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The New Pornographers have always had a way of balancing the direct and the oblique—certainly there aren’t a lot of bands out there that could venture the word “metastasize” in a chorus (“You’ll Need a New Backseat Driver”) or play out an extended reference to Ptolemy (“One Kind of Solomon”) and still land in the ballpark of casual conversation, let alone sound like they’re having fun doing it. Stylized, energetic, less synth-centric than 2017’s Whiteout Conditions but just as densely packed in arrangement and metaphor, In the Morse Code of Brake Lights—the band’s second in a row written primarily by A.C. Newman without Destroyer’s Dan Bejar—is, well, a New Pornographers album, a feat made more remarkable by the fact that they’ve been putting them out for 20 years.

As usual, there’s the sense that the band is rallying against the corroding influence of invisible forces, a volunteer army of idealists holding steady against prevailing winds of corporate takeover, creative surrender, and apathy in general. “Drifting like proper castaways/Didn’t need a war but it’s here I’d say,” Newman sings on the tumbling power pop of “The Surprise Knock.” “So smile big until it’s thrown us clear/We might be on, be on to something here.” Whether Newman is right or wrong is beside the point—the victory lies in sheer persistence. And Neko Case can still sing to rip your roof off and make you like it (“Colossus of Rhodes”).

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics. Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

The New Pornographers have always had a way of balancing the direct and the oblique—certainly there aren’t a lot of bands out there that could venture the word “metastasize” in a chorus (“You’ll Need a New Backseat Driver”) or play out an extended reference to Ptolemy (“One Kind of Solomon”) and still land in the ballpark of casual conversation, let alone sound like they’re having fun doing it. Stylized, energetic, less synth-centric than 2017’s Whiteout Conditions but just as densely packed in arrangement and metaphor, In the Morse Code of Brake Lights—the band’s second in a row written primarily by A.C. Newman without Destroyer’s Dan Bejar—is, well, a New Pornographers album, a feat made more remarkable by the fact that they’ve been putting them out for 20 years.

As usual, there’s the sense that the band is rallying against the corroding influence of invisible forces, a volunteer army of idealists holding steady against prevailing winds of corporate takeover, creative surrender, and apathy in general. “Drifting like proper castaways/Didn’t need a war but it’s here I’d say,” Newman sings on the tumbling power pop of “The Surprise Knock.” “So smile big until it’s thrown us clear/We might be on, be on to something here.” Whether Newman is right or wrong is beside the point—the victory lies in sheer persistence. And Neko Case can still sing to rip your roof off and make you like it (“Colossus of Rhodes”).

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics. Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Desert music man ,

Always a great day when there's a new one by NP

If there's a more consistent band I can't think of one. One great song after another. With great vocals and musicianship. If you're a fan just buy it. And if somehow you're new to the band a great place to start

quocanuck ,

Another great album!!!

TNP's album "Brill Bruisers" is one of my favorite albums of all time...and after a few listens through, I believe ITMCOBL is every bit as good! Favorite tracks are "You'll Need A New Backseat Driver", "Falling Down The Stairs Of Your Smile" (gets better with EVERY listening!), "Colossus of Rhodes", "One Kind of Solomon" and "Leather On The Seat"...but, just like the BB album, I find I enjoy different songs depending on my mood...the only one I haven't warmed up to is "You Won't Need Those Where You're Going"...but hey, 10 out of 11 tracks ain't bad! Another masterpiece from The New Pornographers! Thank you, NP!!

Heidiheyho1 ,

I love it!

I have been listening to them forever now :D
I looooooved this album they write some of the best lyrics. Always so freakin happy to hear whats up, whats next!

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