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The New Pornographers’ “Mass Romantic” Turns 20 This Year And So Does The Son You Barely Know

Can you believe the album that made us fall in love with Neko Case, Dan Bejar and the other members of The New Pornographers turns twenty this year? Not to mention the child that came as a result of a one night stand in college, whose name you can’t quite remember, also turns twenty.

Every time you hear “To Wild Homes” it can’t help but remind you of your road trip to Memphis. And every time “Mystery Hour” plays you remember that anonymous girl telling you she’s pregnant and you begging her to get an abortion. But she didn’t, and you found comfort in “Mass Romantic.”

Now, revisiting this album two decades later, “Letter From An Occupant” actually makes sense to you. Maybe it’s because you have a child on the other side of the country that you really only know via monthly child support checks. Although, you do remember that “The Body Says No” was playing in your car when you skipped town when she told you she was going into labor. Perhaps you should revisit your son more than one weekend a year.

Can you believe how foolish you were to get the lyrics “hope grows greener than grass stains” tattooed on your forearm? Also how foolish you were not to use protection during a hookup at a house party thrown by the college’s improv group? “Mass Romantic” was playing in the living room and you always think of that moment when you hear “Execution Day.” Although you don’t think of the product of that moment when you hear the album, ironically.

Those esoteric lyrics backed by catchy new-wave poppiness, this album never ages. But your son has, he’s twenty and actually attending the same college where he was conceived. Funny how cyclical life is sometimes. “To wild homes we go, To wild homes we return,” am I right? A.C. Newman knows what he’s talking about.

Blaine! That’s your son’s name. Oh wait, no, that’s the keyboardist for The New Pornographers.