Carl Newman is out of the woods with a new album. In keeping with the familiar pattern, the New Pornographers crew concentrate on their own projects between albums. Come on Neko, step up with a new album, girl. With Carl, he's just a machine when it comes to songwriting. Him and Ben Folds are the two most prolific songwriters in pop music.
With his third album, Carl further distinguishes his own voice and grows his catalogue of memorable tunes.
- I'm Not Talking
- The Palace at 4 AM
- On the Table
- Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns
- Get Guilty
- You Could Get Lost Out Here
- Drink to Me, Babe, Then
- They Should Have Shut Down the Streets
- Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer
- Come Crash
- The Heartbreak Rides
- Miracle Drug
- ENCORE: There's Money In New Wave
- The Town Halo
When any front man comes out with a solo album, the comparisons to their main act in inevitable. New Pornographs have evolved into one of the most dynamic, musical collaborative bands in music, his solo work should stand on its own ... and it does. Shut Down the Streets is his softest album. Made near his home in Woodstock, it deals with him being a first-time father and the loss of his parents. If you look at the album cover, it's him in the woods. With the retro look, it does recall the singer-songwriter era of the 70s. It does have that classic folk-pop feeling.
For his live show, he has plenty of songs to choose from on his solo work. Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns and I'm Not Talking are my favorite on the albums. They feel different from the NP catalogue. They actually sound like Neko Case songs with its forrest like feeling and pastoral settings.
What's sort of awkward from my perspective, I've seen this guy on stage 17 times -- 13 with the Pornographers and 4 solo. It could have been more, I missed out on the Zumpano years. That's cause enough for a restraining order. The one constant of these shows -- his sense of humor. After he started, he talked about his previous Maxwell's shows. The last time he performed was one of the secret opening slots for Yo La Tengo's Hanukkah shows, but he joking referred to them as Christmas shows.
Very awesome that the Mynabirds will be tagging along for this tour. It was Laura's first time performing in the great Garden State. Like Carl, she fits in her Mynabirds work between her duties with Bright Eyes. I'm glad that people get to discover her southern soul-drenched music. I looked around and saw people were taking to heavy, uplifting, danceable tracks off second album, Generals. If you do go see them, make sure you shout along to the title track as instructed. Also, buy multiple copies of the album because those CDs and vinyls are a pain to lug around.