Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The New Pornographers: Brill Bruisers [Matador, 2014]
So arch and so in-your-face about it, they remain a case study in obscurity as banality with an attitude problem. Yet the Brill Building tease of the title parses. All 13 tracks including the foreshortened "Another Drug Deal of the Heart" are in-your-face lessons in pop song construction, fetching verse intensified by disarming bridge powered by dynamite chorus if that's the pattern--they vary. Guitars are extraneous and electronics rule--old-school synths rather than EDM rhythms, but electronics nevertheless. So let it roll over you and find somebody else to do your meaning for you just like they're too arch to suggest in so many words. If it helps, I did find some Inspirational Verse that applies, kind of: "They say we can't make this stuff up/But what else could we make?" A-