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Newman strikes out alone, and strikes a winning record,
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This review is from: The Slow Wonder (Audio CD)
Sometimes slow, but often wonderful, A.C. Newman's debut album signals a shift in both sound and lyrical focus, from both the heavy-rock sound of Zumpano, and the bright, eclectic rock sound of The New Pornographers. This shift sees Newman sound more introspective and brooding on 'The Slow Wonder', but it is a move which suits him well. 'The Slow Wonder' is packed full of wry, perceptive lyricy, such as in the poignant, beautifully melodic tale of a relationship lost, in 'Drink to Me Then Babe', memorable guitar riffs ('The Town Halo') and lovelorn laments with excellent vocals ('Come Crash'). But, as much as these facets underpin what is a superb album, it is when Newman lets loose a little that 'The Slow Wonder' reaches its highest points, with the fast-paced, gleefully smart rock of 'Secreterial' and the chord-heavy guitar chug of 'Miracle Drug'. Whilst the album is likely to please fans of The New Pornographers, it is also one which will surprise them a little. Whilst the likes of Neko Case and Dan Bejar have often taken centre-stage with The New Pornographers, 'The Slow Wonder' shows just how talented Newman is on all fronts - musically, lyrically, and vocally. In truth, I've nothing bad to say about 'The Slow Wonder'. Filled with intriguing tales of shady deals, lost loves and honest resignations, against a backdrop of well-chosen (if not virtuoso) guitar melodies, and tuneful, effectively emotive (when needed) vocals, 'The Slow Wonder' is one of the most wonderful rock records of the last decade.