With success brewing on the individual front (A.C. Newman and Neko Case to name only two) the casual listener might be wondering why the need for the 5th album from the The New Pornographers. Well, the old adage that many heads make great stuff most certainly holds true here. With Together, the Canadian eight-some is back for perhaps their best effort yet. Relentless guitar work combined with the shared vocals of Newman and Case on the opener "Moves" makes for a great way to get things rolling in the right direction. "Crash Years" is nearly an instant classic with its catchy beat, Neko's always stirring vocals and a few whistles too. "Your Hands (Together)" - the first single from the album incorporates the multiple vocal talents of its members while also managing to write a song that moves along at a fast and fun pace. After a great start, the music remains consistently good. On the marching and upbeat "Up In The Dark," Newman and Case ask the question "What's Love?" and conclude that it's "What turns up in the dark." Enough can't be said about the range, diversity, and overall excellence of what one hears from the 2010 version of The New Pornographers. Yes, lyrics that are less cryptic in nature would be nice. Still, from start to finish, this is some really good stuff. Consider it my favorite release of 2010 so far! ~ Reviewed by Jeff Bouma

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