Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Oct 9, 2012
    Shut Down the Streets is as accessible as it is rewarding, and as refreshingly idiosyncratic as it is revealing.
  2. 70
    Shut Down The Streets really peaks at the end with a pair of downcast slow-builders which strike just the right balance of melancholy and melody.
  3. Shut Down the Streets successfully infuses what could fly as an intimate acoustic set with contagious pop hooks.
  4. 60
    Shut Down the Streets is a strange beast and one that will fall victim to that option that destroys the album sequence as we know it: shuffle. Fortunately, the high points are so high that they warrant a listen, even a purchase of the record as a whole.
  5. 90
    Superb album in every facet, it is the first time in a while I have been able to emotionally engage in an album right from the get go.
  6. Oct 29, 2012
    [Shut Down the Streets is] a truly mature and well-rounded work, with a complete lack of pretension, and a lot of warmth and heart.
  7. Oct 16, 2012
    Newman's third album is beautifully put together, well played, slyly and cleverly worded, but it works too much on the surface.
  8. Oct 12, 2012
    The nitro-powered esoterica of his New Pornographers days has faded, though, in favor of a more restrained beauty.
  9. Dec 4, 2012
    It is, in a way, a dad-rock opus, the songs imbued with the residue of a man pondering not just the intricacies of family but the greater implications of existence that come with it. [No. 93, p.51]
  10. Nov 29, 2012
    Forensically constructed, sad-eye pop with bright melodies of a Shins-like stripe. [Dec 2012, p.96]
  11. Oct 11, 2012
    Lyrically, he's still clever but also much more direct, and there's greater impact because of it.
  12. Oct 9, 2012
    By opening up, by giving a glimpse into the heart behind those heart-stopping melodies, Newman's written his best songs in nearly a decade.
  13. Oct 10, 2012
    Newman's melodic gifts continue to serve the emotional core of his songs well, but he pulls his punches with opaque lyrics and too many wheelhouse-sticking power-pop cuts that keep Streets from achieving the impact it could have had.
  14. Oct 15, 2012
    Shut Down the Streets is not a record for the young--it is wisdom wrapped around the indelible songwriting skills of one of Canada's most distinctive musicians.
  15. Oct 15, 2012
    They have that kind of hypnotic quality, a combination of strength and texture that sounds calm at every turn, which is what makes it so surprisingly volatile in its effect.
  16. Dec 11, 2012
    Thankfully, it avoids the easy traps of earnestness or tweeness, and emerges as an intriguing, convincing listen. [Jan 2013, p.108]
  17. Oct 9, 2012
    For the most part, though, Shut Down the Streets manages to avoid the ennui nipping at its heels, and in its best moments, reinforces Newman as both a skillful wordsmith and a masterful purveyor of Dylan-esque folk rock.
  18. Oct 9, 2012
    While decidedly uneven and lacking in the sheer number of hooks a regular dose of Newman provides, Shut Down the Streets does have two of the best songs of his long career.
  19. Oct 9, 2012
    Shut Down The Streets is worth getting over any bias, though: It's the rare adult album that isn't a self-indulgent bore.
  20. 80
    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.
  21. Oct 26, 2012
    Newman's a decent songwriter whose songs never quite ignite--their seemingly light touch feels rather hard-won. [Dec 2012, p.75]
  22. Oct 10, 2012
    As is the case with all of Newman's work, there are plenty of surprises here, many of which reflect the surprises of the death and birth of loved ones.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Oct 11, 2012
    Critics seem to be jaded with the steadiness in style Newman has maintained. Solo work and his songwriting with New Pornographers inclusive. But I personally like how the familiarity of his music allows the songs themselves to come into their own. Plus, it should be said that there's a quality of sound here that sets Shut Down the Streets apart from his previous work. And it's just damn good songwriting. Man is a master of melody. Full Review »
  2. Oct 10, 2012
    Like all Newman's solo work, the subtle musical and lyrical hooks only emerge with repeat listenings. I got this a week ago and would have rated it a 7 off the bat, much like I guess the critic ratings seem to be going, but it's definitely better than that. Full Review »
  3. Dec 6, 2012
    Without a doubt, this is A.C. Newman's finest solo record . As someone the same age as Newman who has also become a parent in recent years, the themes on this album resonate deeply. Though full of mellower songs than the typical New Pornographers (or even Newman's previous solo discs) affair, they burrow deep in your brain after multiple listenings. The atmospherics on this album are also terrific --definitely a headphone-worthy affair. Lots going on underneath deceptively simple surfaces. Though some use "dad rock" as a pejorative expression, it doesn't need to be as long as the music comes from an authentic place and pairs the lyrics with great music). "Shut Down The Streets" captures a distinct time in life of happy new beginnings, sad endings, and the realization that you already have the things most important to you. Full Review »