"The Slow Wonder" CD
The Blue Curtain / Matador
Genres: indie pop, power pop
The Blue Curtain
726 Richards St
Sep 13 - 19 2004
Very few songwriters can make pop music sound this good. But A.C.
Newman, lead songwriter for everyone's
favourite New Porrnographers, can. And he does. And
so I'm overjoyed to be reviewing the Canadian version of his solo
debut, The Slow Wonder, which came out on BC label The Blue
Curtain as well as indie conglomerate Matador Records.
Led by main single "Miracle Drug," The Slow Wonder
makes a case for the best-of-2004 lists right from the start. It
is energetic, peppy power pop - you can definitely sense the New
Pornographers sound in there, but it's been given a nice
makeover. "On The Table" and "The Town Halo"
share this infectious, spirited style - they simply gush happiness
and excitement - but the real fun comes when A.C. Newman
changes things up a bit. The delicious "Drink To Me, Babe,
Then" has the makings of a true classic - undoubtedly one of the
best songs on here, it combines pained vocals with a deceptively
mellow, infinitely catchy song structure. "Come Crash"
has a similar, relaxed sound - both laid back and immediately
infectious - and "Better Than Most" is the type of lush pop
number that stays in your head for weeks.
A.C. Newman hasn't rewritten the pop book, but The Slow
Wonder is one of the best albums the genre has seen in a long
while. Any one of these songs could be a mainstream hit,
but they're far too good to sink to that level.
11 tracks, distributed by Matador, released 2004]