A Guilty Pleasure (Heard)

Get Guilty. A.C. Newman
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Buy on eMusic.

There are few guarantees in life. One of them is that any record with A.C. Newman on it is going to be filled with great guitar-heavy pop hooks and memorable, if not well understood, lyrics.

On his last two albums, however, the New Pornographers' Challengers and his newly released solo album Get Guilty, Newman has toned down the frenetic pace.

The result with Get Guilty is that its songs take on a more dramatic, sweeping feel and slowly ingratiate themselves into your brain. A perfect example -- the album lead-off There May Be Ten or Twelve -- with its flowing stripped down sound and obtuse words. The songs aren't as much of a sugar rush, but they're still memorable. Check out the three songs on the Currently Spinning playlist on the right and you'll see what I mean.

This being a solo effort, there's no Neko Case. But that's OK -- Newman gets great background vocals from Nicole Atkins and Kori Gardner

Yes, I still prefer the hundred-miles-a-minute Newman that made Slow Wonder such a classic. But, there is not a more consistently pleasing indie/power pop songwriter out there. Get Guilty is the first great album of 2009.

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