A.C. Newman

Get Guilty

As one of the masterminds of The New Pornographers, A.C. Newman has proved his magic touch with pop songs. With that deserved praise in hand, he went even further with his 2004 solo release, The Slow Wonder, where he showed how tricky he can get with hooks and beats. Now, in the wake of the success of The N.P.’s top-40 cracking Challengers (2007), he’s gone and affirmed it once more with his second solo CD, Get Guilty. The Canadian-gone-New Yorker shows his signature moves on songs like “Prophets,” with youthful chants and epic instrumental builds, but he also shows growth. His strength in songwriting shines on songs like “The Heartbreak Rides,” with the minimal instrumentation of guitar and percussion linked like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, a prominent piece of which being his signature vocals. Newman’s solo songs bring the feel and energy of a full stage of musicians, somewhat reminiscent of fellow Canadians Arcade Fire. The man knows how to make pop. One can only imagine where he’ll end up by the time he gets to his next solo album … but let’s just settle down and enjoy this one first.