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Challengers by The New Pornographers
Released: Aug 2007
Label: Matador
This Vancouver group's fourth album is a bit more cautious than their winning 2005 LP, even if it stays with the same large-scale hooks and harmonies that outweigh most others in the genre. Heaps of strings and keyboards hold together the collectively written songs, though "Myriad Harbor" (written and sung by Destroyer's Dan Bejar, who borrows generously from the Pixies) is the most elaborate. Tunes like "All the Things That Go to Make Heaven and Earth" also make the LP a fairly chipper affair, at least until Neko Case parachutes in to dim the lights on the hammering waltz of "Go Places."
Nate Cavalieri
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