A.C. Newman: Get Guilty


A.C. Newman must be a pretty damn good song-smith if he can get that other redhead, Neko Case, to come out on tour every other year or so with his spit fire rock band The New Pornographers.  The man has an encyclopedic knack for pop, and he’s taken that knowledge to newfound levels by mixing dead ringer harmonies with edgy guitars and fuzzy effects.  With consistent outputs from his rock band every odd year, it’s a small wonder that Newman still has the time or ambition to further his solo career.

Get Guilty, Newman’s second solo album following 2004’s Small Wonder, is less versatile than any of his New Porn releases, but this one can grow on you.  Mixing simple lush compositions with the typical he/she vocals we’ve grown accustomed to from the lispy voiced composer, there’s a lot going on here.  Even where there is soft gooey pop on “The Heartbreak Rides,” Newman refuses to go all Belle & Sebastian on us the rest of the way – try the multi-tempo “The Palace at 4 A.M.” “Submarines of Stockholm” is a New Pornographers dead ringer with its oddball rhythms, while “The Collected Works,” almost has an arena rock Queen burst to it. “Thunderbolts”  and “Changeling (Get Guilty) crawl within sleepy boring rudimentary marching beats, with the later almost trying too hard to conjure a statement with its over-the-top chorus scream and  the slow revolving "Young Atlantis" is plain crappy.  Newman has carved a niche for him-self in this power indie pop thing, and Get Guilty proves another guilty pleasure for the Brian Wilson pop inspired crowd, minus a few foul slaps along the way.



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