Wearing two hats -- inventive solo performer and frontman for Canada's indie darlings the New Pornographers -- A.C. Newman has proven to be a reliably unpredictable songwriter and pop visionary. But things get even bigger, darker, bolder and more personal on Shut Down The Streets (October 9, Matador), an album the comes after a period mixed with grief and elation via the death of his father and the birth of his son. It also reflects an embrace of the sheer power of a great pop song, whether addressing a heartthrob or a heartache, bemused by life's little twists or contemplating the essence of what it means to be human. As with all Newman songs, Street's diverse tracks are brimming with witty smarts and brisk and brash pop melodies, as "I'm Not Talking" (with fellow "Porno"-star Neko Case) and "The Troubadour" gracefully demonstrate. "I felt the need to be more clear in the lyrics on this album than ever before," he explains. "Not worry so much about the poetry of it. It felt like the message really had to be clear. At the least, more clear than before."
A.C. Newman - "I'm Not Talking" (from Shut Down the Streets) Free Download
A.C. Newman - "The Troubadour" (from Shut Down the Streets)