In case you missed it, check out The New York Times‘ review of A.C. Newman’s Shut Down the Streets:
As the main songwriter in the New Pornographers, along with his solo albums and past bands dating back to the 1990s, A. C. Newman has been so prolific that he risks being taken for granted: He’s the guy who can always spin out hummable pop melodies that would be right at home in the ’60s or ’70s, whether or not he matches them to lyrics that add up. But Shut Down the Streets (Matador/Last Gang) takes an extra step toward the heartfelt: “Is it too much to lose, or too little left to live for?” he sings in “Wasted English.” The melodies are still there, from gently scalloped waltzes to hearty power-pop choruses, and there’s a new layer of polish on the arrangements: intros that establish atmosphere along with hooks, richer and more elegant instrumental blends, the self-effacing vocal harmonies of Neko Case from the New Pornographers. And especially in “They Should Have Shut Down the Streets,” which mourns the death of his mother, Mr. Newman comes through as less facile or defensive, more open. It’s a tipping point.
The album is available on iTunes HERE