Reviews

The New Pornographers “Continue as a Guest” Album Review

Continue as a Guest

The New Pornographers

  • Genre: Indie Rock
  • Date: 31 Mar, 2023
  • Content: Not-explicit
  • Region: NGA
  • Track(s): 10
  • ℗ 2023 Merge Records

With their new album, “Continue as a Guest,” The New Pornographers, a Canadian indie music legend, have made a comeback. The group’s ninth album is also their debut for North Carolina independent label Merge. Principal songwriter A.C. Newman’s realization of his place in the world and his improved understanding of the studio are the main drivers of it.

This means the group created an album that you can listen to again and over again and yet discover fresh pleasures in, from the production to the melodies. To be clear, all of their works are superb, but this one is especially multidimensional. Neko Case, John Collins, Todd Fancey, Kathryn Calder, and Joe Seiders are among the popular guest features.

Sadie Dupuis and Dan Bejar, the frontman of the Destroyer, are given songwriting credits in addition to the usual cast. The fact that “Continue as a Guest” combines polished pop flourishes with their early chapter’s angular tendency while also drawing on their naturally wide sense is one of the album’s major accomplishments.

Album Cover Art

The New Pornographers &Quot;Continue As A Guest&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 18, 2024

The album cover features a few detached houses joined to each other floating off into the sky as one long, haphazardly conjoined set of nice-looking apartments. This could also represent a mind state where someone does not want to let go of a particular memorable experience, so they try to recreate it over and over.

Tracks and Features

In “Really Really Light,” the album’s first track, we are immediately confronted with chaotic yet purposeful instrumentals, with a combination of guitars and a tambourine bringing a vintage folk-pop flavor. The vocals are rapidly introduced, seamlessly fusing Kathryn Calder and Neko Case’s harmonies with Newman’s voice. This song serves as a lighthearted introduction to the album and offers a brief preview of the songs to come. It is upbeat and hopeful.

Pontius Pilate’s Home Movies, a theatrical-sounding tune with a powerful, underlying bassline, changes up the sound a little. The lyrics begin with a foreboding undertone and rise to an electric atmosphere with nearly gothic vocals and suspenseful drumming. The verses develop to an electric atmosphere with a subtly menacing undertone and tense drumming, with the singers sounding almost gothic.

“Cat And Mouse With The Light,” which has a more playful tone, creates a fanciful soundscape by blending organic instrumentals with synthesizers and adding a sort of futuristic vibe. “Last And Beautiful,” which is constantly blending different genres, is practically 90s pop and a memorable song. This album makes it very evident that the group is capable of writing truly excellent lyrics, especially on the title tune, “Bottle Episodes,” and “Firework In The Falling Snow”

In “Marie And The Undersea,” the pandemic and the state of the world are specifically discussed. For a topic that can be challenging to comment on without coming off as preachy or overly direct, they’ve done a great job. While the song is clearly depressing, the chorus, which features undeniably distinctive vocals, provides a glimmer of optimism. “Wish Automatic Suite,” the album’s final track, has the undertones of a single rather than the album’s final track. The visual paints a picture of a completely different universe and is accompanied by an enthusiastic chorus and an intriguing bridge.

Tracklist

NO TITLE TIME
1 Really Really Light 3:21
2 Pontius Pilate’s Home Movies 3:54
3 Cat and Mouse With the Light 3:59
4 Last and Beautiful 4:17
5 Continue as a Guest 4:24
6 Bottle Episodes 4:12
7 Marie and the Undersea 4:42
8 Angelcover 3:30
9 Firework in the Falling Snow 3:21
10 Wish Automatic Suite 5:20

Album Theme

This infectious record expertly walks the line between being boisterous and emotional. On the record, The New Pornographers understand that if you slow down and let life catch up with you, it won’t get any longer. The key is seizing every chance, and in their case, moving forward, turning their disagreements into moments of connection, discovering beauty in music, and holding out hope that tomorrow will bring another chance to try again.

Production Credits

A.C. Newman produced the album.

Stream

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