New Pornographers' Pop 'Adventures' Continue

Wednesday's Pick

  • Song: "Adventures in Solitude"
  • Artist: The New Pornographers
  • CD: Challengers
  • Genre: Pop
The New Pornographers' members have mastered the art of clever, lustrous power-pop.

The New Pornographers' members have mastered the art of clever, lustrous power-pop. hide caption

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The New Pornographers' members have spent nearly a decade carving out a richly deserved reputation as virtually unparalleled masters of clever, lustrous power-pop. The ingredients remain unimpeachable, from A.C. Newman and Dan Bejar's gleefully obtuse lyrics to Neko Case's head-turning guest vocals and beyond. But what makes the best New Pornographers songs instant classics is the way they pack several remarkable hooks — each strong enough to sustain a pop hit's chorus — into a single track.

"Adventures in Solitude" closes the band's fine new Challengers without conserving hooks: Opening with a few uncharacteristically spare verses and memorable interludes — "We thought we lost you / Welcome back" — the song soon blooms into a series of rich, warm-blooded choruses, as Case rushes the spotlight and the strings sweep in. The juxtaposition between spare and lush only enhances the heartwarming thrill of the latter's arrival, but "Adventures in Solitude" sounds like a gem no matter which hook it rides.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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Challengers

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