- The New Pornographers: Carl Newman, Dan Bejar, Kurt Dahle, John Collins, Blaine Thurier.
- Additional personnel: Neko Case.
- Personnel: Daniel Bejar, Carl Newman (vocals, Wurlitzer organ); Kurt Dahle (vocals, drums); Neko Case (vocals); Blaine Thurier (keyboards); Fisher Rose (drums).
- Recording information: 2000.
- Photographers: Shannon Oksanen; Bill Anderson .
- Unknown Contributor Role: John Collins.
- It is easy to trace the influences of the New Pornographers. Ghosts of the Beatles, Big Star, T. Rex, David Bowie, and legions of underground power-pop bands all bubble up through the songs on MASS ROMANTIC, the Vancouver-based rock band's debut. Yet far from sounding derivative, or like a rehashed rock history lesson, MASS ROMANTIC is a minor pop masterpiece (in part due to how craftily these influences have been synthesized via the masterful songwriting on offer). From the opening blast of the title track to the closing chords of "Breakin' the Law," MASS ROMANTIC is non-stop aural pleasure.
- Comprised of members from several other acclaimed indie bands, including Dan Bejar (Destroyer), Carl Newman (Zampuno), and Neko Case (whose solo country albums are also recommended), the New Pornographers ride high with fierce pop energy, lush harmonies, and songwriting that emphasizes irrepressible melodies. While on one hand it seems the band's sound--which fuses 1960s Beatles-esque smarts with '70s power-pop propulsion and '80s new wave edginess--is its strongest asset, the fact that the record has more hooks than a bait-and-tackle shop is what will keep listeners coming back for more. A true must-have gem.
Rolling Stone (3/1/01, p.54) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...A striking power-pop album, 40 staggeringly catchy minutes of 4-part harmonies and Wall Of Sound production, exploding with energy and joy..."
Spin (4/01, pp.156-58) - 8 out of 10 - "...Brains-across-the-dashboard power pop....A group experiment gone right - rock where the beat and the ideas come faster than you'd expect..."
Entertainment Weekly (2/23/01, p.162) - "...An insanely contagious concoction of new wave, Cheap Trick, and garage-glam pandemonium...a perfect pop album..." - Rating: A
Q (4/02, p.119) - 3 out of 5 stars - "...Charmingly poppy...and contagious..."
Uncut (2/01, p.90) - 4 stars out of 5 - "....A ferocious blend of riotous fun and epiphany perched on the edge of despair..."
Alternative Press (3/01, p.82) - 4 out of 5 - "...A masterful reproduction of underground power pop ca. 1979, complete with cheesy synths and slashing guitar leads..."
Magnet (12-1/02, p.57) - Included in Magnet's "20 Best Albums of 2001".
Magnet (4-5/01, pp.82,84) - "...A new wave-meets-Built To Spill opus....with epic, tempo-trading b-sections....there's no kitsch here and enough depth to convert even the most jaded anti-popster."
CMJ (1/22/01, p.4) - "...Brims with the band's capriciously eccentric new wave punk sound..."
No Depression (1-2/01, p.92) - "...Densely-made pop....[a] mix of brassy pop and Eurotrash glam....another promising entry on [Neko] Case's burgeoning musicla resume..."
NME (Magazine) (4/27/02, p.30) - 6 out of 10 - "...synths trade coy smooches, guitars wobble like sun-stroked XTC fans and harmonies soar like...balloons..."