New Pornographers, Electric Version (8/10)

10 all-time favorite albums (as if I could limit it to ten), in no particular order. Albums that really made an impact and are still on your rotation list, even if only now and then.


Another early-2000s albums that received great reviews but no radio airplay, Electric Version was a revelation to me. I finally got to hear it for the first time on the jukebox at Casino El Camino and fell in love instantly. Everything that made me happy about music is contained the the first four songs. Power pop, soaring harmonies, delirious lyrics, and just plain giddy fun. 

Wasn't music always fun? Well, no, not really. Grunge was not fun. Industrial is not fun (except, of course, for PWEI). I love me some Radiohead, but OK Computer and Kid A are not fun. I loved all that stuff, but wasn't even aware of how little joy there was in the music. 

Electric Version, for me, brought back the sing-along choruses and hooks-upon-hooks that first made me love the rock and the roll. That's the primary impact. The unabashed fun of it. Oh sure, Dan Bejar wanders in and delivers "Testament to Youth in Verse," the most gorgeous paean to teen celibacy you'll ever hear. Bejar, (whose solo band, Destroyer, is also one of my favorites) brings a loose and cynical voice to the proceedings, keeping it from becoming too...not twee, but too....much? 

Love this record so, so much, in case you couldn't tell.