AC Newman 
The Slow Wonder
/matador; 2004/



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For a while i was wondering if i'd come across a great indie pop record to listen to in the end of spring, when cute girls seem to pop out of nowhere and when all you care about is having a good time before the slow, tired Summer kicks in. Last year i had that Fountains of Wayne album, perfect hooks for car rides and nightly ca´pirinhas. This year i have AC Newman's The Slow Wonder, even though it's not as catchy and shamelessly poppy as the Fountains of Wayne. 

AC Newman is the man behind the New Pornographers, that Canadian supergroup also featuring Neko Case and Destroyer. There's something about the New Pornographers that has always kept me from enjoying their records unconditionally. "Letter from an Occupant" rocks though. And the "When I Was a Baby" cover is great too.

AC Newman's record sounds fresher and less messy. There's still that 1966 vibe floating around. The album starts with one of the best songs you'll hear this year, "Miracle Drug" leaves you on your knees, begging for more. The most amazing thing about the record (i haven't been unbiaised once in my whole life) is how everything falls into place, an epileptic piano, backing vocals and turns every chorus into a real wild 30-second party. The album has some rockers too, "The Battle for Straight Time" sounds like a lighter Queens of the Stone Age that would embrace its Kinks influences without shame. "The Town Halo" rides the same vibe, lead by an Elephant string quartet, a perfect song for a long, hot car ride to the beach, with a surfing board sticking out of the trunk. "35 in the Shade" features the same cellos rocking your world and closes the album in a brilliant way (= with a solo), leaving you euphoric but still thirsty. The slower songs (songs for girls) are really nice too, my favourite being "Come Crash", with a killer chorus (Christine, come crash on my floor) and impressive arrangements (that guitar slide and the drumroll work really well).


-Barbara H

/june 1st 2004/