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After a set number of triumphs in international DJ competitions, players are banned from participating. How else would anyone get a chance at winning? A similar rule should be put in place for pop music because there are too many hook scientists out there, penning immaculate pocket symphonies so perfectly constructed that a listener can only stand back in awe. First up for a lifetime ban would be the New Pornographers. Carl Newman rewrites the formula every time he puts out a new album but his immaculate machine is still in motion and the songs somehow find new ways of doing the same thing: moving mind and body, seducing and entrancing, lifting you up and taking you away. They’re the veritable Justice League of Guitar Pop with the Wonder Twins of Synth along for the ride. They make music that will strong-arm you into submission and it’s almost too much, so relentless is their will to power. I can only take it in small doses because it’s so dense and rich with musical and lyrical ideas. If you can do more, you’re a stronger man/woman/child than me. (Terence Dick)

CD, Mint Records, www.mintrecs.com, www.thenewpornographers.com

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