A special thanks to Said the Gramaphone (Sean)and Never Came Home (Z*) for the plug on their sites - much appreciated.
I caught up, finally, with the new A.C (Carl) Newman disc, 'The Slow Wonder' (website) and was immediately captivated by the airiness and space in the songs -with The New Pornographers, at times, coming on like an aural steamroller (don't get me wrong, I am not complaining) his solo disc is in strong contrast.
A straight off favourite, outside the tracks I heard previously, is 'Better Than Most'.
I read awhile back that this solo work was "New Pornos 'Lite'" - I wish I could recall where i caught that description, as I couldn't disagree more. WHO SAID IT?
Yes, yes, I know that this is hyperbole, being from Matador Records - Newman's US label - but I agree with it...
'A.C. Newman is Carl Newman. Carl writes at least 80% of the material for The New Pornographers, a band you should be very familiar with right about now. If Carl was 20 in 1978 in England he would have been in a band called the Soft Boys. If Carl was 20 in 1984 in Ohio he would have been a founding member of Guided By Voices. If Carl was 20 in 1965 in LA Brian Wilson would not have needed Van Dyke Parks, and a few years later in the same town Richard Harris would not have needed Jimmy Webb. Nancy & Carl? Probably. Music would have taken a turn for the better, it would have been more interesting, more intricate, more exciting ad nauseum. Though we can't change the past, we'll settle for changing the future. This is 34 minutes of the best power pop you have ever heard, an incredible breath of fresh air in a hostile era for genuine hand-crafted music.'
....and finally, this link will take you to a translated from German review of 'The Slow Wonder' - I love the last line - "The Slow Wonder" became simply and moving a masterpiece.