AC Newman’s Get Guilty

20Jan09


(A.C. Newman – Get Guilty (Matador)

Here’s the thing. Get Guilty is filled with the simple, upbeat, a little catchy, but easily forgotten indie pop songs that have been on his previous release, 2004’s The Slow Wonder. There has been no evolution. Don’t get me wrong – it’s easy to listen to, but there’s really no change in the past 5 years for A(llen) C(arl) Newman.

There is differentiation  from track to track, like  “Submarines of Stockholm”  is an upbeat, toe tapper,  sing along while  “There Maybe 10 or 12” is a slower-ballad-like song, “complete” with pizzacato.

A few songs on this album remind me of ABBA because their  simplistic structures and layered vocals of “laa laa”‘s and “Baa-baa”‘s (Especially in “The Palace at 4 am”). The lyrics are storytelling, with characters and places. I’ve always liked his  style  of developed lyrics.

Overall, it’s digestible and an easy listen but not captivating, memorable or new. Maybe I heard what Matador heard, which was a great sound that could evove into something special. I’m not giving up on AC Newman but Get Guilty just hasn’t gotten there yet. Maybe I’m guilty of having high expectations.

Track Listing:

1. There Are Maybe 10 or 12*
2. The Heartbreak Rides
3. Like A Hitman, Like A Dancer
4. Prophets
5. Submarines of Stockholm*
6. Thunderbolts
7. The Palace at 4am*
8. The Changeling (Get Guilty)
9. Elemental
10. Young Atlantis
11. The Collected Works
12. All Of My Days and All Of My Days Off

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