Under Review: A.C. Newman – Get Guilty

As the closest thing The New Pornographers have to a lead singer, Allan Carl “A.C.” Newman sure knows his way around a great pop melody. Even with four New Pornographers albums and their related tours, the key members somehow find time to record their own solo projects. Though Newman is fairly new to the solo scene compared to his New Porno bandmates (his debut, The Slow Wonder, came out in 2004), his motto is clearly quality over quantity. Newman’s follow-up, Get Guilty, shows off indie veteran’s reverence for pop heroes of yore, as well as some of his sunshiny contemporaries. The music of Get Guilty owes particular debts to Village Green-era Kinks (“Prophets”), the ‘big music’ of The Waterboys (“There Are Maybe Ten Or Twelve”) and even Belle & Sebastian (“Elemental”). There is also a lot we can learn from Get Guilty, such as how simple phrases can be turned into intriguingly clever lyrics (the “One in a series of” chorus in “Submarines Of Stockholm”), and how to give a song a title that would make Stephin Merritt jealous (“All Of My Days & All Of My Days Off”). Newman’s solo albums may not be as freaky as Danny “Destroyer” Bejar‘s, or as down-home as Neko Case‘s, but they, like Newman himself, act as the ray of familiarity that makes the more experimental releases make sense. Get Guilty delivers what any classic pop record promises: delectable music without distractions.

~ by E. on February 16, 2009.

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