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Get Guilty

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Audio CD, January 20, 2009
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Product Description

The second solo album from A.C. Newman, leader and songwriter behind The New Pornographers, finds the pop songsmith in decidedly more upbeat and guitar heavy form than on the last NP's album. "Get Guilty" is a set of layered pop songs of great melodic and lyrical depth.


"A.C. Newman deserves every last bit of praise thrown his way. In a better world, he would be our Elton, our Todd, our McCartney" --All Music Guide
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 20, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B001MW0J0Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,574 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rudolph Klapper on January 26, 2009
Format: Audio CD
In a fairer world, Carl Newman would be heralded by mainstream media outlets the Western hemisphere over as one of Canada's preeminent modern pop songwriters, the Great White North's newer, hipper version of Sir Paul or Burt Bacharach. The brainchild behind perennial award-winners and indie mainstays the New Pornographers, Newman's sun-kissed brand of quirky, technically accomplished baroque-pop has been imitated by many yet matched by few. Few songwriters working today can match his depth of wit and devious lyrical turns, and his immediately pleasing arrangements match the best of `60s pop with a properly indie experimental sensibility. With his second solo release under his "A.C." alias, Newman does little to dispel the notion that he remains one of the most consistent entertainers of the indie world.

Newman was always the steadying force behind the New Pornographers fun-loving brand of pop. While Neko Case had her own style of countrified balladry and Dan Bejar a sense of weirdness and inexplicable charm that made its mark on any New Pornos song he wrote, Newman remained the lover of harmonic choruses, intricately developed melodies, and brilliant guitar-piano-vocal interplay. While the New Pornos' latest, Challengers, focused more on slower tunes and diverse styles, Get Guilty harkens back to the New Pornographers of old, a guitar-drive, eminently catchy record of earnest pop-rock.

Opener "There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve" is suitably majestic, riding a pounding, ascending guitar line before settling into a quieter stop/start rhythm and Newman's ambiguous lyrics to "make of that what you will." The soft-loud dynamic works well here, alternating between brash bursts of toms and crashing chords to a lilting piano-led melody framing Newman's distinctive pipes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Mack on January 27, 2009
Format: Audio CD
"That wasn't the opening line, maybe the tenth or twelfth. Make of that what you will." Is the line that finishes the first verse on "Get Guilty." I'd say that's an interesting way to start a pop album. Newman gives the listener more thoughts to ponder in the opening track, "There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve," and follows them with the refrain "make of that what you will" multiple times. That line is about as good of a summary of this album as you are likely to find: "Make of that what you will."

I think most people will listen to "Get Guilty" and hear an album mostly full of songs that are in the same vein as the Newman-led tracks on The New Pornographers' latest album, "Challengers," although they are slightly stripped down on "Get Guilty." Whether that is a positive or a negative is entirely up to the individual. Personally, I enjoy The New Pornographers, including "Challengers", but I also expected "Get Guilty" to be somewhat of a departure from his recent New Pornographers work, just as his last solo album ("The Slow Wonder") wouldn't have worked with the music he was making for TNP at the time.

The two most impressive tracks for me are the opening song and "Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer," which are, not coincidentally, the two least TNP-like tracks on this album. "There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve" paces along with a huge drum beat, it's much slower than the typical Newman-penned pop song, but that is probably why it is so enjoyable to me. "Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer" is held together by a short burst of a guitar riff that is as catchy as any chorus on the album.

That's not to say that the rest of the songs aren't good, he's got some pretty good pop songs on this album, including: "The Palace at 4 AM", "The Heartbreak Rides" and "Submarines of Stockholm.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gregory William Locke on March 10, 2009
Format: Audio CD
In the coming months critics will begin issuing out "best of" lists for the whole of this strange, transformative decade. Best novel. Best film. Best actor. Best albums. Best songwriter. Vancouver singer/songwriter A.C. Newman, best known for his lisp-y frontman work as a leader of The New Pornographers, will see his name written down. Get Guilty, his sixth and final proper album of this decade (four as a Porno, and now two as an A.C.), likely wont find its way onto these lists. It should, however, make some year-end lists while furthering Newman's campaign to go down as the decade's top songwriter.

Opening with the celebratory (if slightly sedated) power-pop blast of "There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve," Get Guilty immediately distinguishes itself from Newman's other solo album, 2004's The Slow Wonder, coming off more like a Pornos tune. But don't get too excited, many of the major hallmarks - the Neko Vocals, two or three obligatory Dan Bejar songs and a few over-the-top/punch-in-the-face power-pop tunes - of Newman's band's sound are completely absent. The arrangements are full (like a Pornos' album) but the writing is slightly more personal. There are no otherworldly female vocalists to compete with and, likewise, there are no otherworldly female vocalists yelping along with Newman. It's an indie rock give-and-take that, truthfully, just sorta sounds like another A.C. Newman-penned record. Nothing wrong with that.

The standout tracks - most notably "The Changeling (Get Guilty)," "The Palace at 4 a.m." and "Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer" - are all just as good as the best Porno tunes. Some chug along in a chamber pop sort of way; some offer up-and-down power-pop rides; and some kick down the door.
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