There is no question that A.C. Newman knows how to whip up some solid pop songs. He has a knack for witty lyrics, catchy hooks, and a pop mentally for orchestrating irresistibly and instantly accessible music. And on his latest solo effort, Get Guilty, the New Pornographers front man once again proves that he is the Canadian king of power pop.
It’s an album that is a solid listen from start to finish, jam packed with hook driven 60s chamber pop filled luscious orchestrations and that signature New Pornographer sound with help of Neko Case backing him up on vocals. It is hard to pin-point the best songs on Get Guilty since they are all embody an extremely enjoyable and heartfelt pop aesthetic, so I will just have to go with the songs that have been getting stuck in my head the most.
“The Heartbreak Ride” is one such beautiful pop song about late night rides to downtown L.A. It’s a heart tugging symphonic musical arrangement filled with trumpets, both acoustic and electric guitars and chiming bells. “Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer” and “Prophets” are both irresistibly catchy songs with great hooks that could easily fit in to a New Pornographers album with A.C. and Neko harmoniously singing together.
Albeit a hard task, if I had to pick a favorite song on the album, it would be “The Palace At 4 a.m.”, which is absolute pop bliss. With bouncy drums and an uplifting orchestration, it makes you want to dance around while singing the great chorus; “It was a straight shot / A straight shot / Lady would you call it off!” Such a perfect pop song; one that I have grown to expect from A.C.
For fans of New Pornographers and also new listeners this is an appealing album, filled with catchy songs and killer hooks. The sunny chamber pop is the perfect antidote for bleary winter days. Definitely my first must have album of 2009.