A.C. Newman
The Slow Wonder


3.0
good

Review

by La Revolucion USER (8 Reviews)
August 15th, 2006 | 9 replies | 3,682 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

The devil spits hot fire
Onto the crying peasants
In the hideous depths
Of the Wal-Mart


OK, fine, these lyrics aren’t anywhere at all in The Slow Wonder, but wouldn’t it be awesome if they were? Just imagine sweet, angel-voiced A.C. Newman unleashing an unholy death metal squeal in the midst of a goofy indie pop song. It would be so...unpredictable. So unlike the rest of this album, which follows standard verse-chorus-verse structure and has extremely predictable melodies throughout. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as a few excellent songs come out of it, but it is a more than a little obnoxious to know how a song goes and be able to tell where it’s going as you listen for the first time.

A good way to describe the overall sound of The Slow Wonder is by calling it a mediocre New P0rnographers record. Every aspect of every song could fit right onto an album of theirs, which makes sense since Newman is basically the leader of the New P0rnographers. Why should his solo career be any different?

Hmmm....

Maybe because no one wants to hear the New P0rnographers minus a few helpful and important members? Neko Case is the most hurtful loss, as she is replaced by a nasal, high pitched female voice that always seems to provide migraine-inducing harmonies at just the wrong times. Another loss is whoever helped write the New P0rnographers slow material. As hard as A.C. Newman tries (and it’s obvious he tries very hard), his ballads always come out as repetitive, simple songs that, quite honestly, aren’t worth listening to. “Most Of Us Prizefighters” uses two chords for its entirety, A.K.A. long past their welcome. “Come Crash” is an attempt at an epic ballad that just doesn’t work due to the underlying feeling of lightness in all of Newman’s work.

Another flaw in The Slow Wonder is the lack of cohesiveness from one part of a song to the next. The verse of “The Town Halo” has a very dark and foreboding cello backing it up, which randomly drops out for a bubblegum pop chorus of Newman singing the song title. “The Battle For Straight Time” has a harmony drenched, guitar filled chorus, but a verse that runs on a grungy riff and is dissonant to a point where it becomes difficult to listen to.

All mistakes aside, Newman still proves he knows how to write a catchy and upbeat pop song. “Miracle Drug” features quick guitar stabs over a latin acoustic progression and is filled to the brim with addictive hooks and catchy lyrics. “35 In The Shade” has an epic, album-closing type feel piano line backing up Newman’s sugary sweet vocals for the verse, which leads into a descending piano scale for the chorus. Pure and memorable indie-pop genius.

With The Slow Wonder , A.C. Newman shows the world he sort of needs The New P0rnographers to really get him going (oooh innuendo), but that he can make a few songs that stand out on their own, and even get up to the New P0rnographers level of pure, power pop ownage.

Pros
- A few outstanding songs
- Newman’s voice is addictive

Cons
- More mediocre or bad songs than good
- Slow songs are atrocious

Overall Rating
3/5



Recent reviews by this author
Menomena Friend And FoeThe Black Keys Magic Potion
Ray Lamontagne Till the Sun Turns BlackBeirut Gulag Orkestar
The Bees Free The BeesAnniversary Your Majesty
user ratings (37)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006



17911 Comments


Good review.

La Revolucion
August 15th 2006



1060 Comments


Uh, whether you read fast or skim it or whatever, thank you.

south_of_heaven 11
August 15th 2006



5426 Comments


Short, yet descriptive. Do I know the band? Hell no.
/vote

mx
Moderator
August 15th 2006



733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

For those of you who don't know who this is, it's the lead singer for the New Pornographers.

I love 'Miracle Drug', and '35 in the Shade'

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2006



16071 Comments


Knowing this, I must now check this guy out. /is in a strange love relationship with TNP now.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

La Revolucion
August 15th 2006



1060 Comments


Yeah mx, those songs are great. Illuvatar, check him out.

Onewaytrip2hell
August 16th 2006



508 Comments


Great review. I wondered when I'd see another...

Kiran
Emeritus
November 22nd 2008



5992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Miracle Drug is suuuch a good song but the rest of the album pales in comparison.

EVedder27
December 16th 2009



6088 Comments


Miracle Drug is sooo addicting



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy