Give them credit: It's hard not to notice the name. Even better: The music's terrific on this third album from the New Pornographers, a Vancouver indie-rock collective. With the exception of the catchy title track, the more intricate Twin Cinema may not be as instantly likable as the hummable power pop of 2003's Electric Version, but the new CD is ultimately more rewarding.
Like fellow Canadians Arcade Fire, the Pornographers maximize their versatile cast—fronted by AC. Newman, who plays six instruments and writes and sings most of the tunes—with expansive instrumentals and frequent role changes, sometimes in mid-song. Beginning as a spare ballad, "The Bleeding Heart Show" builds to a rollicking chorus highlighted by singer Neko Case's harmonies. While melancholy gems like "The Bones of an Idol" and "These Are the Fables" are more in line with Newman's 2004 solo release The Slow Wonder, trademark high-energy tracks such as the upbeat anthem "Use It" are what really reel you in to Cinema.
DOWNLOAD THIS: "The Bleeding Heart Show"