Album Review

Brent Andermann
Together is a fun amalgamate rumpus. It continues where Challengers left off with its lush sound and turned it into voice for the hopeless and clueless generation who have been wandering around, half awake and half asleep since the 90s and somehow woke up in a truck stop in North Dakota. With the help of the Dap Kings’ horn section and Beruit’s Zach Condon, the album is not only full of energy and life, but also has a sense of purpose and meaning.

The accidental band from Vancouver, even after five albums together, can still sit in a practice room together and write beautiful pop songs. The harmonies are still sugary sweet, they are still due the baroque pop comparisons to the Zombies, the Beach Boys, etc, etc, etc, and they still can pull a hook out of the most unlikely of places. The lyrics as always are universal and appeal to their generation as well as the ones of past and future.

It’s business as usual, but with more promise than has been seen from them. There’s a bit of sparkling reminiscence. “Your Hands (Together)” has the charge and rumble of Mass Romantic, but The Pornographers seem more comfortable together than they did in those days. Although Dan Bejar and Carl Newman write most of the band’s songs, it’s the tracks that Neko Case sing that stand out. She takes all of the music’s determination and purpose and gives it something that it wouldn’t have otherwise, which is the courage to be freely emotional in the face of this serious grand experiment/ manifesto shouting the conditions of the human experience. The ballads are just heartbreaking and the pop songs are big and fun. It’s everything we’ve come to expect, but just a little more.