The New Pornographers: Carl Newman (vocals, guitar, keyboards, melodion); Neko Case (vocals); Todd Fancey (guitar, keyboards); John Collins (baritone guitar, bass, keyboards); Blaine Thurier (keyboards); Kurt Dahle (double bass, drums, percussion, background vocals).
Additional personnel: Dan Bejar, Nora O'Connor (vocals); Monica Chattway (violin); Nyla Rainey (cello); Tim Sars (saxophone).
Recorded at The Factory and JC/DC Studios, Vancouver, Canada between November 2001 & October 2002.
With alt-country chanteuse Neko Case periodically joining forces with members of Zumpano and Destroyer, the New Pornographers ply their trade as a sort of indie-rock supergroup. Their sophomore album ELECTRIC VERSION finds the sextet, (septet if you count secret member Dan Bejar), roaming the sunny slopes of power-popdom using chiming harmonies, cheesy keyboards, and punchy guitars as their guideposts. Jittery synths and hooting background vocals make "Chump Change" very Redd Kross-like, power chords and a thumping beat transform "The Laws Have Changed" into a perfect surf-driven new wave song, and the stunning coda in "Testament to Youth in Verse" rings with the beauty of early era Bee Gees. Like fellow Canadians Sloan, this Vancouver-based outfit also has a knack for pumping out guitar-driven Cheap Trick-like pop, and on this collection of songs, the apex is the relentlessly swaggering "It's Only Divine Right." With ELECTRIC VERSION, The New Pornographers once again prove themselves plugged into the mechanics of perfectly rendered power pop.
Rolling Stone (12/25/03, p.109) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2003"
Rolling Stone (5/15/03, p.135) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Perfect harmonies, revved-up guitars and rinky-dink keyboards....ELECTRIC VERSION will no doubt prove one of the year's best summertime rock records..."
Entertainment Weekly (5/9/03, p.76) - "...Perfect for anyone who appreciates both Shoes and Nu Shooz..." - Rating - A-
Uncut (6/03, p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...The songs of chief Pornographer Carl Newman surge with contagious power pop energy and wit....Classic pop has seldom sounded so much fun..."
The Wire (6/03, p.74) - "...Their songs are predictably primed with enough catchy hooks to pull you into a web of upbeat optimism..."
CMJ (5/503, p.10) - "...Vancouver's premier indie-rock supergroup has perfected a nifty trick: writing songs with hooks the Beatles would be proud of, giving them ornate, Beach Boys-style baroque pop arrangements, and playing them with all the pent-up energy of early Elvis Costello..."