CD The Slow Wonder (CD 1053497),
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The Slow Wonder

  • 1. Miracle Drug
    2. Drink to Me, Babe, Then
    3. On the Table
    4. Most of Us Prizefighters
    5. Battle for Straight Time, The
    6. Secretarial
    7. Come Crash
    8. Better Than Most
    9. Cloud Prayer, The
    10. Town Halo, The
    11. 35 in the Shade
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 615

  • Credits
    ProducerA.C. Newman; John Collins; Dave Craswell; John Collins; David Carswell; A.C. Newman
    EngineerJohn Collins; Dave Craswell; John Collins; David Carswell

    Personnel: A.C. Newman (guitar, recorder, melodion, tambourine, drum programming); A.C. Newman (vocals, bass guitar); Sara Wheeler, Sarah Wheeler (vocals); Dave Craswell, David Carswell (E-bow); Megan Bradfield, Megan West (cello); John Collins (bass guitar); Shane Nelken (autoharp, piano); Shaun Brodie (trumpet); Fisher Rose, Pete Bourne (drums).
    Audio Mixers: A.C. Newman; John Collins; Dave Craswell; Howard Redekopp.
    Recording information: DC Studios (10/2003-12/2003); Home (10/2003-12/2003); Jc (10/2003-12/2003).
    Photographers: Kara Raggett; Karin Bubas.
    New Pornographers frontman A.C. Newman goes solo for this instant classic of slightly retro rock-pop. Clocking in at a little more than 30 minutes, 2004's THE SLOW WONDER is a gem--a rocking, orchestrated album that recalls the best tunes on the airwaves in the 1970s. A close inspection of lyrics reveals the sad underside to that era's optimism, however, with tales of failed novelists, bruised ideals, and bored romantics.
    Highlights--in a record full of highlights--include the strings and female harmonies of "The Town Halo," the dueling whistle chorus and compressed guitar on "Drink to Me, Babe, Then," the piano arpeggios and thunderous drums on "35 in the Shade," and the bursts of brass on "The Cloud Prayer." Through it all, Newman's pleasing vocal timbre makes him sound like his own one-man Beach Boys. Fans of Pornographers standouts like "From Blown Speakers" will eat this up, as this whole album retains that tune's evocation of the thrilling ache of half-remembered adolescent longing. It's all ceaselessly listenable--sunny and dark, hungry and satisfying in equal measure.

  • Critic Reviews
    Rolling Stone (p.128) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Newman pens melodies that seem to have sprung from the collective unconscious and then encases them in bright, lush power-pop arrangements."
    Spin (p.109) - "His first solo album lets you better appreciate his knack for weaving glorious pop songs out of change-ups and mixed signals..." - Grade: A-
    Q (p.121) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[I]t's a friskily succinct piece of work....It makes for a refreshing, bracing detour."
    Uncut (p.104) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Crafty and clean-cut, Newman is a credit to an overlooked art; a big, baroque fusion of sharp garage, paisley pop and '70s sleekness..."
    Magnet (p.66) - Ranked #4 in Magnet's "The 20 Best Albums Of 2004" - "[T]he odd cello riff and whistling solo aren't gimmicks - they're standard."
    Mojo (Publisher) (p.114) - 3 stars out of 5 - "A SLOW WONDER is as deep and dazzling as it is brief."
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