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Get Guilty by A.C. Newman - My life as a circus clown.

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January 31st, 2009

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10:46 am - Get Guilty by A.C. Newman
Get Guilty is the second album from AC Newman, perhaps best known as Carl Newman, front man for The New Pornographers. I've often said that Newman is one of the best writers of pop songs and catchy hooks and melodies in the business right now, and this album surely is more evidence of that. The album is very loose and energetic, laden with songs that will be stuck in your head for days. It may not quite be an "instant classic", but rather a grower. Songs like Thunderbolts or The Collected Works, upon first listening, may confound you with their halting, stop & start nature and may seem at first an impossible beat, but once you "get" them, once you've heard them a few times, you will no doubt be unable to get them out of your head.
But not everything comes at you sideways. There are some more straightforward pop songs, like the lead off track and first single There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve, which will draw you in to the album, and The Palace at 4AM, which is the first in a great one-two with Changeling (Get Guilty) a song that builds up to the soaring chorus that is as fine a song he has ever written.
And the album closes with All of my Days & All of my Days Off, which is probably the highlight of the album for me, a song that builds up to an ending with some great, layered vocal harmonies that has everyone on the album - and no doubt listeners themselves - singing along. It draws the listener in, urging them to give it another spin, and that is the beauty of the album. Upon first listen, it's a perfectly fine pop album, but giving it further listens reveals things you didn't hear the first time, hidden depths in the songs and easily missed layers. Get Guilty is easily among the finest things Newman has ever written and is just more proof of his musical brilliance.

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Date:January 31st, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
I got this album last week and I've only been able to listen to it once so far because I'm going to try to get 3 PopMatters reviews done this weekend and I've had to listen to those discs instead. So AC Newman has mostly been left by the wayside for the moment, but I'm really going to dig into the album more next week. I can't wait.

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