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Album: The New Pornographers, Together (Matador)

If prizes were handed out for proficiency in the field of power pop, the New Pornographers would win every time.

The fifth album from the Canadian collective centred around Neko Case, AC Newman and Dan Bejar contains 12 songs that rarely rise above the mid-tempo mush. A word or two will jump out and the odd Case vocal will draw in, but beyond that... The sense of disappointment is only intensified by the lack of anything to touch "Hey, Snow White", from last year's Dark Was the Night compilation.