‘Get Guilty’ is innocent fun

By Gus Bode

A.C. Newman

‘Get Guilty’

Release Date: 1/20/2009

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Record Label: Matador Records

Website: www.acnewman.net

Rating: B-

A.C. Newman is a power-pop machine. For nearly two decades the man has been turning out gem after gem of jangly guitars and soaring choruses.

On his second solo outing, ‘Get Guilty’ Newman has another batch of catchy jams in the vein of his past work with group The New Pornographers. That band’s success comes largely from the collaborative songwriting efforts of Newman and member Dan Bejar (who also records as Destroyer).

When left to his lonesome, Newman captures most of his band’s magic, but the work ultimately suffers without Bejar’s more experimental leanings. But do not get me wrong; ‘Get Guilty’ is a very satisfying listen.

Newman can still pen a chorus that will get stuck in your head after the initial listen. Those types of choruses run rampant on the new record. ‘Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer,’ and ‘The Palace at 4 a.m.’ have enough sticky pop sweetness, that Alex Chilton must be smiling somewhere.

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As a placeholder between New Pornographers records, ‘Get Guilty’ is a first rate piece of power-pop.

It is just too bad Newman dropped it in January. This record would sound a whole lot better in the summertime with the windows down.

Luke McCormick can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 275 or [email protected]

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