Feature

A.C. Newman: 'Get Guilty'

How the New Pornographers member's latest solo album holds up

(Matador)

***

Get Guilty is a “stirring set of memorable power-pop,” said Noel Murray in The Onion. On his second solo effort, A.C. Newman continues his idiosyncratic style of songwriting, delivering more knotted guitars, lyrical non-sequiturs, off-kilter arrangements, and “hard to parse pronouncement.” Much like his work with the New Pornographers, Newman’s offbeat songs on Get Guilty come off “simultaneously triumphant and a little oblique.” While his “home brew of buzzy 60s garage-rock and beat-crazy art-pop” can be catchy, Newman’s scrambled melodies at times make the album indiscernible.

You have to understand Newman and the nuance of his songwriting to appreciate his music, said Eric Harvey in Pitchforkmedia.com. Intrigued by the craftsmanship of a song, Newman puckishly fools with expectations using “a fun-house mirror approach to musical structure.” Whether it’s in the exultant vortex of “The Palace at 4 a.m.” or the meta-narratives of “The Heartbreak Rides,” each song is “invigorating, like an unplanned road trip.”

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