• Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Jan 20, 2009
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Get Guilty is a stirring set of memorable power-pop, given a personal spin via Newman's habit of delivering hard-to-parse pronouncements, like some kind of mad-eyed, curiously convincing soothsayer.
  2. Newman ratchets down the excess while retaining his talent for killer, off-kilter melodies.
  3. Newman’s second solo outing, Get Guilty, is a baroque-pop gem, on which he displays remarkable tonal control via crafty arrangement.
  4. Anyone who can craft a record that sounds and feels as good as Get Guilty deserves to keep on making records forever.
  5. Get Guilty isn’t an easy album at all. It just sounds like one.
  6. Yet all of this feels like quibbling when surveying an album that's still devastatingly charming, consistently intelligent, and engaging on first listen.
  7. As the album fades out to Newman and company singing, you feel drawn in to the song, much closer to the record than when you began. And that feeling is what makes Get Guilty fantastic.
  8. On his second solo outing, New Pornographers main man Carl Newman gives a master class on how to merge melody and classic song structures without making music that sounds dated or retro.
  9. Get Guilty bursts with dazzling tunes and--for him--relatively simple arrangements. [Apr 2009, p.108]
  10. Like Wonder, Guilty has its share of up-tempo tracks, yet its real pleasures are idiosyncratic, revealing themselves the more attentively and often you listen.
  11. Everything’s a little less condensed here than previous entries into the Newman catalogue, and the compositions even get to hang loose at times. That does lead to some delayed gratification, but it’s still exciting to see Newman let his hair down a bit--in an understated manner, of course.
  12. Get Guilty isn't quite as consistent as a typical Pornographers record, but the arrangements are lusher. And like all Newman records, it shows off his smarts and maintains a strong hook quotient.
  13. 70
    Get Guilty dwells on the past, and that pensive reflection mutes the second half, turning Newman's boast into a wistful memory.
  14. The best songs here stand alongside the best songs in Newman's repertoire, but not everything on Get Guilty lives up to so high a standard. Make of that what you will.
  15. This is just a modern rock record, and it definitely won’t change your life, but it’s more than competent and beyond clever.
  16. Get Guilty is unlikely to bust Carl Newman out beyond his inherited fan-base but neither is it likely to disappoint those listening out for more-of-the-same, albeit with obvious but not crippling disadvantages.
  17. Newman is only Guilty of more predictable excellence here, running up his streak of impressive artistic success. [Winter 2009]
  18. 60
    ven the weaker material is nothing worse than pleasant, but it outweighs and obscures the better-than-pleasant; the middle of the album dissolves into an anonymously sweet haze.
  19. Get Guilty is best enjoyed in chunks, as nearly all the tracks are great pop songs. But a full listen through can be an ordeal.
  20. 60
    The songs here reveal their author's love of The Beattles, Fleetwood Mac, Paul Simon, Elton John et al, and confirm Newman's growing status as college rock's most tasteful magpie. [Apr 2009, p.91]
  21. Too many of the songs rely on a stilted, march-like rhythm that makes them sound formal and restrained, especially when paired with Newman's arch lyrical delivery.
  22. It's surprisingly how generally lukewarm the music is on Newman's sophomore effort, Get Guilty. [Feb 2009, p.103]
  23. Even with their glut of talent (Bejar not included), the band is sputtering for ideas.
  24. This disc comes off like an early home demo for a mediocre New Pornographers recording before all the bright colours and drama get added.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. EricC
    Mar 2, 2009
    8
    I wasn't a big fan of the Porno's quieter sound on Challengers, and the first time I heard a few of these songs, I wasn't too I wasn't a big fan of the Porno's quieter sound on Challengers, and the first time I heard a few of these songs, I wasn't too hopeful. But now that I've spent some time with this album and actually dug in to Newman's subtle and honest songwriting, I'm definately going to be returning to Challengers. Newman doesn't get the credit he deserves for being one of indie's top songwriters, mainly because the artsy kids are too busy fawning over Dan Bejar (not that Bejar and Destroyer aren't awesome). But I hope this album, while not his best batch of songs, will help get him in the much deserved spotlight. Full Review »
  2. JeffP
    Feb 9, 2009
    9
    I think the album is a grower (took me two listens to totally dig it), but like most of Newman's music, once it catches on, it sticks I think the album is a grower (took me two listens to totally dig it), but like most of Newman's music, once it catches on, it sticks and you can't get it out of your head. Also, with each listen, something new is discovered and a new song becomes my favorite each time. A.C. Newman once again proves he is one of the best songwriters of the decade. Dynamite album and the first great release of 2009. Full Review »
  3. tomm.
    Feb 7, 2009
    8
    Generally agree with cokemachineglow, but they got the review dead wrong with this effort. Similar in feel to the slow wonder, slower and Generally agree with cokemachineglow, but they got the review dead wrong with this effort. Similar in feel to the slow wonder, slower and more introspective than new pornographers, but hardly grasping for ideas. Full Review »