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Shut Down the Streets (Bonus Track Version)

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iTunes Review

A.C. Newman's third solo LP reaches back to bygone pop classics for its soft tones and lush, inviting textures. Newman evokes artists like Bread and Gerry Rafferty (whose track "Baker Street" Newman cites as an "obsession" during recording) as much as The Shins and Belle & Sebastian, with Newman subjecting pillowy choruses and sweet melodies to the warm, spacious production he uses on his solo records. Inspired by life-changing events like birth (his son) and death (his mother), Newman has written poignant songs without holding much back. The warm burbles of organ and gentle cascades of acoustic guitar and clarinet notes make fine foundations for his emotional expressions. On the bubbly and winsome "I'm Not Talking" and the ghostly waltz "You Could Get Lost Out Here," one can feel the uncertainty that likely beleaguers all new parents: a mixture of joy and fear accompanied by the startling knowledge that everything has changed forever. The title track is a moving, lilting piece about grief. One of Newman's many gifts is letting the listener in on his secrets while giving us the space to live with our own.

Customer Reviews

The good and bad of this album...

The good: most of the time the 'music/rhythm portion is ok.

The bad: most of the songs, the lyrics are corny.

What a shame, because I really like A.C. Newman's voice. I would loved to have added him to some of my playlists.

With a bow to --

Nick Lowe. (Not a bad thing, by the way.)

A.C. Newman continues his reign as the king of power pop

A.C. Newman knows how to write a hook, and that will never change.

Whereas his past albums were restrained, at least compared to the usual bombast of the New Pornographers, Shut Down the Streets feels every bit as rich and ecstatic as the best New Pornographers material.

"Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns" is the immediate standout, but there isn't a weak track on the album. "Jacksboro," the bonus track, is another good one, the sort of song that wouldn't be out of place on an Okkervil River album.

I've read that the album is lyrically a more personal one than Newman's earlier work, but I don't hear it. Maybe it's his off-kilter phrasing or word choice, but the lyrics never seemed cloying or obvious to me.

Buy it! You'll feel good about yourself.


Born: April 14, 1968

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Vancouver-based guitarist and singer/songwriter Allan Carl Newman broke into the Canadian music scene in the early '90s as a member of alternative rock/grunge outfit Superconductor. A longer stint with power pop group Zumpano followed in the mid-'90s, resulting in two well-received albums, Look What the Rookie Did and Goin' Through Changes, but it wasn't until Newman formed the New Pornographers in 2000 that his hook-filled guitar pop anthems became staples of the crowded 21st century indie rock...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by A.C. Newman

Shut Down the Streets (Bonus Track Version), A.C. Newman
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