Crowd pleaser

Sometimes movies tweak you at the end. The hero dies, or loses his true love to a prick with high hair. The camera ascends like a soul or windblown tear, and all of a sudden you’re fiending for a happy ending. Reality can buzz off — this is Hollywood, so the finale had better feel good. Come on! And then, just as suddenly, it’s there. The hero gets up, the girl turns around, the high-haired guy falls down an elevator shaft. And you’re the happiest person ever. Well, every single song the New Pornographers write is bound to that feeling. And Twin Cinema, the Vancouver collective’s third album, is no different. AC Newman cranks his merry band of talented white people (including vocalist Neko Case and the Destroyer’s Dan Bejar) through giddy, kicky guitar pop ("Twin Cinema," "Sing Me Spanish Techno"), four-minute concept albums in brass and harmony ("Stacked Crooked") and pianos that give way to some kind of vintage girl-group street party ("These Are the Fables"). Oh, and the Case-sung coda for "Bleeding Heart Show" might be the most empowering two minutes of an album full of feel-good moments. It’s true: Twin Cinema is the must-see record of the year.

Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].