A.C. Newman's GET GUILTY (of The New Pornographers) - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Lemonade Stand > Just the Bang and the Clatter
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-19-2009, 06:21 PM   #1
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
If you shout...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 5,377
Local Time: 07:31 PM
A.C. Newman's GET GUILTY (of The New Pornographers)

Well, my copy of A.C. Newman's new gem, Get Guilty, arrived courtesy of Matador, the other day, and I felt the need to share with everybody just what a strong power-pop record it is. It sounds exactly like Newman's first solo record (2004's The Slow Wonder), meaning that it sounds a bit less bouncy and bit more Randy Newmanesque than his work with The New Pornographers or (was it really a decade ago, already?) Zumpano. It also means that he still isn't really making much progress...well, apart from the increasing Newman-ness of his songs, which I just mentioned. It's nothing new, but it's very good. It's also not the best record you'll hear all year, but it's very good. Very, very good.

"The Heartbreak Rides" is probably the best non-Animal Collective song I've heard, this year, and songs like "The Palace At 4 am," "The Changeling (Get Guilty)," "Young Atlantis," and "Prophets" all do their damndest. "There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve" makes a good run, too.

If you aren't familiar with the man's work, then I'd both urge you to make yourself so and also tell you that his work (particularly his solo work) sounds kind of like a mix between mid-period Kinks/Ray Davies (the sensibility), Randy Newman (the melodies), pre-Wild Honey Beach Boys (the harmonies), The Go-Betweens, and whatever other super-crisp power-pop records of which you can think. Maybe The Smithereens, from time to time? Lots of lazer (with a "z") guitars, lots of start-and-stop vocal melody lines, infrequent bouts of ornate and lush orchestration, etc..

In short, it's really good and fun and immediate stuff! I'd encourage everybody to check it out if for no other reason than to get yourselves hooked on The New Pornographers, who're easily the best non-SFA pop band in the world.

Here are some predictably and understandably positive reviews:

http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/...938/get_guilty

Get Guilty | The Tripwire

Dryvetyme Onlyne A.C. Newman - Get Guilty

Here is a needlessly brutal review from the oft-needlessly brutal Conrad Amenta (CMG), just for perspective:

A.C. Newman: Get Guilty :: Record Review | Cokemachineglow.com

Isn't it strange how angry he seems to be that Newman writes strong pop songs? I mean, Jesus...what's wrong with pop songs? The record's called Get Guilty, not Get Bitter!
__________________

__________________
If you shout... is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 01:46 AM   #2
Blue Crack Supplier
 
lazarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 37,996
Local Time: 05:31 PM
Well how would you rate it against the New Pornos catalogue, specifically Challengers?
__________________

__________________
lazarus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 09:48 AM   #3
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
If you shout...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 5,377
Local Time: 07:31 PM
My post-Zumpano/-Superconductor A.C. Newman catalogue ranking:

1) Twin Cinema
2) Mass Romantic
3) Challengers
4) Get Guilty
5) Electric Version
6) The Slow Wonder

I'm a guy who's a pretty strong believer in the concept of "The List," but this one is pretty fluid. Twin Cinema never really moves around, because it is literally the best pop record since the days of Ric Ocasek & Co., but the other ones get jumbled around, a lot. Both Mass Romantic and Twin Cinema get 9+/10 ratings, from me...which, as you surely know, is exceedingly rare.

I really adored and still do adore Challengers (apart from the meandering "Unguided"--a Newman solo tune, ironically!), and Mass Romantic is just absurdly brilliant. This new one sounds like a solo record than the many-headed best that is The New Pornographers, so I think that it predictably doesn't stand up quite as well to that record. I think that it was the Rolling Stone capsule which said that this one sounds a bit less consistent and cohesive than a Pornos record, and I definitely agree with that. I'm kind of on the spot, so these ratings may not be too reliable, but I think that on the If you shout... Scale of Doom, Challengers would come out with something like a 7.3-7.5, whereas Get Guilty would probably get a 6.9-7.3 (it's brand-ass-new, so hard to say). Bear in mind that a 5.0, on my scale, means an average record. a 5.9 isn't an "F"--it's a better-than-most record, if only just.

Moving on, Electric Version is too much of a rote second album to be great, but it flirts with it more provocatively than do the vast majority of second records--too many songs on there, several of them obviously underdeveloped and only road-tested. Still, the highs are Everest-like (ie, "From Blown Speakers," the title track, which plagues Rock Band drummers to this very day, "All For Swinging You Around," "Chump Change," and "The Laws Have Changed").

As for The Slow Wonder, it's really good! Honestly, it is. Very consistent, very fun, and a bit mellow, as compared especially to the first two New Pornos records. Wonderful stuff, though, and also notable for introducing the phrase "Cloud Prayer," contemporaneously used by Dan Bejar in a SubPop singles collection song called "The Spirit of Giving," which would later become the best track on Challengers in a souped-up, full-band, orchestral blowout.
__________________
If you shout... is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2009, 12:09 PM   #4
Blue Meth Addict
 
u2popmofo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 36,960
Local Time: 07:31 PM
I haven't bought any NP albums since Twin Cinemas, or any of AC's solo work.

I have gotten into Destroyer quite a bit in the last year though.
__________________
u2popmofo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2009, 12:53 PM   #5
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
If you shout...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 5,377
Local Time: 07:31 PM
Hey, kids. A Metacritic page finally popped up, earlier in the week. Since this thread is sinking faster than a downed Stockholm submarine, I reckon maybe people don't believe me. Believe this, then!

A.C. Newman: Get Guilty (2009): Reviews

Averages out to a 71 from a scant 15 reviews, including only the CMG and Rolling Stone reviews, of the ones that I posted, but that seems to fall in line with what I was talking about, upthread. It quite well corresponds with my estimation. Give them shits a read, if'n you don't trust me, for some reason. Really, this is good music. And pop music, too! None of the droney, shrieky, atonal, makes-your-eyes-tear-up-from-the-frequencies-of-doom-therein stuff I tend to listen to, outside of the world of this somewhat narrow, but pretty much always awesome, board. I really think that this is an Interference-friendly record, this time! It seems to be growing on me more and more, each day. Very well-composed and intricate tunes!

U2popmofo, not understanding Destroyer used to be one of my great indie-related guilts/shames, but now I just admit with relative pride, for want of a better term, that I just think the mo'fucker sucks ass. Terrible records, terrible songs ("Hey, Snow White" notwithstanding), terrible arrangements, and pretty terrible everything else, to my not-particularly-terrible ears. I dunno. I promise that I'm not trying to call you out, especially because my favorite New Pornos songs are usually the Bejar ones (go figure), but I felt that it had to be said.

For all the wonderful, exploding pop songs on Twin Cinema, though, my favorite track on this particular day of the week and many others just might have to be "Streets of Fire"--fucking gorgeous, that one! And "Jackie, Dressed in Cobras" is jaw-droppingly wonderful. "Myriad Harbour," "The Spirit of Giving," "Jackie"...the mo'fuckin' list goes on. Bejar + The New Pornographers = Gold, Jerry! Gold!

I guess it's probably got something to do with the whole Pornographic Philosophy--you take all of these people who make music on their own and put them together in a band, forcing them to come together and make group, rather than solo-inclined, music. I also prefer the full-band records to Newman's own, as I've mentioned. I admit that, for brief moments, I might get a teensy bit bored, during an A.C. solo or Zumpano outing (and I can't even stomach a full Destroyer record...never once been able to take one in, in full, in one sitting; not a big fan of Neko Case's records, either, although I adore more than several of her individual songs), but I just can't turn away for even a moment, during a New Pornographers album. I think that bringing all those fairly strong personalities together (Newman, Bejar, Case, Dahle, etc.) kind of helps to balance out their potentially grating quirks. It's like checks and balances, you know? On a New Pornographers record, Neko Case rarely oversings, A.C. Newman rarely overwrites or gets too fancy, and Bejar rarely gets too arch or self-aware or infuriating. It all just kind of clicks.

I suppose that this wasn't really the proper thread for any of that, but I felt like it was worth bringing up. "Hey, Snow White" FTMFW, then, and let's please not get sidetracked, because this Get Guilty record really deserves your attention! Check out this PopMatters review, too, as it's both largely in line with critical opinion (not to mention my own) and not yet included on that Metacritic page:

A.C. Newman: Get Guilty < Music | PopMatters

Good stuff, kids.
__________________
If you shout... is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2009, 05:30 PM   #6
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
If you shout...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 5,377
Local Time: 07:31 PM
Just keeping this on the first page. No reason not to, I reckon.

Also, I just found out that the AIDS charity compilation, Dark Was the Night, is going to feature a full-band New Pornographers rendition of Destroyer's "Hey, Snow White," which I was just hyping, in the last post. I've had the opportunity to hear the song, and it's good. I don't think that it's at all as strong as the Destroyer original, but it's still damn-ass good.

Just like Get Guilty.
__________________
If you shout... is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2009, 11:48 PM   #7
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
If you shout...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 5,377
Local Time: 07:31 PM
There's no way that this thread's already dead.

Here's an interview, in hopes of jump-starting the mo'fucker:

Adventures in Solitude: An Interview With A.C. Newman < Music | PopMatters
__________________
If you shout... is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2009, 07:59 PM   #8
Blue Crack Supplier
 
IWasBored's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 36,503
Local Time: 09:31 PM
i heard about half of it the other night in a record store (haha, i was there a while). good stuff. reminded me i need to get back into NP stuff.
__________________
IWasBored is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2009, 08:01 PM   #9
Blue Meth Addict
 
u2popmofo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 36,960
Local Time: 07:31 PM
IWB knows all about new AND old pornographers.
__________________
u2popmofo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2009, 02:01 AM   #10
Blue Crack Supplier
 
IWasBored's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 36,503
Local Time: 09:31 PM
oh yeah, you and me go way back.
__________________
IWasBored is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2009, 11:02 AM   #11
Refugee
 
got_edge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dating a retarded person
Posts: 2,338
Local Time: 09:31 PM
__________________
got_edge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2009, 11:53 AM   #12
Blue Meth Addict
 
u2popmofo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 36,960
Local Time: 07:31 PM
Are you saying I'm old?
__________________
u2popmofo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2009, 11:54 AM   #13
Blue Crack Supplier
 
No spoken words's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Where do YOU live?
Posts: 43,241
Local Time: 05:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by u2popmofo View Post
Are you saying I'm old?
You are.

I just noticed your signature. I wonder if you should maybe credit the person who worked hard on that, you know?
__________________
No spoken words is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2009, 11:56 AM   #14
Blue Meth Addict
 
u2popmofo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Texas
Posts: 36,960
Local Time: 07:31 PM
To the best of my knowledge, it was some German guy.

I thought you'd be happy that I liked the "review" that everyone else crapped on.
__________________
u2popmofo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2009, 12:03 PM   #15
Blue Crack Supplier
 
No spoken words's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Where do YOU live?
Posts: 43,241
Local Time: 05:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by u2popmofo View Post
To the best of my knowledge, it was some German guy.

I thought you'd be happy that I liked the "review" that everyone else crapped on.
People crapped on it? People laughed at it. People crapped on my version of Twilight.
__________________

__________________
No spoken words is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
a.c. newman

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com