The Slow Wonder

  • Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Jun 8, 2004
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 1 out of 23

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  1. AdamX
    Aug 7, 2004
    10
    one of the best things ever
  2. AndreaZ
    Jun 21, 2004
    10
    Wonderful catchy power pop!
  3. JohnH
    Jul 5, 2004
    9
    Indie pop hasn't been this good in a very long time.
  4. CurranF
    Jul 5, 2004
    9
    Excellent solo debut for Carl Newman. Ridiculously catchy power pop that sparkles with clever lyrics and subtle instrumentation.
  5. LawrencePrasad
    Aug 1, 2004
    8
    Agree with Brad M.
  6. MarisaG
    Sep 2, 2004
    8
    I get distracted listening to the 60's and 70's influences on this album...but then I relax and realize they all come together into something original and incredibly enjoyable. Good stuff.
  7. markf
    Jul 10, 2004
    7
    Maybe I should accept that AC is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He is damned fine, but there's something about his easy-come-style that leaves him a little before the best out there. If you love him, God bless you.
  8. Marc
    Jul 8, 2004
    9
    Expectors of the New Pornographers' wall of sound and constant zest maybe a bit dissappointed. Still the album is loaded with more hooks than a bait shop.
  9. lorip
    Aug 13, 2004
    10
    i never even heard of this guy and what drawn me to pick up this cd was that cat nose on the CD cover and when i listened to it i fell in love with it....i think it's a great album....i happen to love it very much.....he's great...thanks lori
  10. JavinH
    Sep 20, 2004
    7
    I found some rewarding moments on this album, one of the more memorable ones being " Most of Us Prizefighters." "Miracle Drug" was what prompted the purchase though. Great tunes for the most part, but a few snooze tracks. " The Town Halo" kind of sounds like a late INXS rip off - but with the addition of the rocking cello surpasses any reference. I think that the originality of the I found some rewarding moments on this album, one of the more memorable ones being " Most of Us Prizefighters." "Miracle Drug" was what prompted the purchase though. Great tunes for the most part, but a few snooze tracks. " The Town Halo" kind of sounds like a late INXS rip off - but with the addition of the rocking cello surpasses any reference. I think that the originality of the material is what carries this release by AC, not the musicianship or the sound itself. AC's is not a sound that dictates any one emotion, only an ever changing mixture. The only important thing here is where YOU take the music. With The Slow Wonder, you will get there wherever it may be. Expand
  11. David
    Jul 10, 2005
    9
    This is a joyful, puzzling album in all the right ways. There is some New Pornography here, but especially because of the elliptical lyrics (my favourite kind!) we wonder what all the jubilant force, surprising/catchy riffs, sullen mystery, and emotion-about-event is all about. Listen to mainstream FM or AM radio after this, and one realizes how much octane A.C. Newman has here and "how This is a joyful, puzzling album in all the right ways. There is some New Pornography here, but especially because of the elliptical lyrics (my favourite kind!) we wonder what all the jubilant force, surprising/catchy riffs, sullen mystery, and emotion-about-event is all about. Listen to mainstream FM or AM radio after this, and one realizes how much octane A.C. Newman has here and "how nothing" mainstream pop usually is. My jaded head is turned . . . Expand
  12. BradM.
    Jul 16, 2004
    8
    I reacted to this cd the same way I reacted to many new pornographers tunes. At first I am frustrated by the over the top, sugary cheeriness of this type of music and I promptly turn it off. But then a song keeps playing inside my head and I begin to crave its sugary concoctions. However, while I'm in awe of Newman's harmonies, particularly on "35 in the shade," I still have I reacted to this cd the same way I reacted to many new pornographers tunes. At first I am frustrated by the over the top, sugary cheeriness of this type of music and I promptly turn it off. But then a song keeps playing inside my head and I begin to crave its sugary concoctions. However, while I'm in awe of Newman's harmonies, particularly on "35 in the shade," I still have some reservations about his music. Namely the fact that his music doesn't make me "feel" anything. Sure when "Secretarial" starts chugging, I get a giddy rush of excitement but it's kind of like seeing a pretty girl. On a superficial level staring at this girl will satisfy my needs but on an emotional level I'm not really feeling anything deeply. Part of the probably is Newman's lyrics. Sure they are charming in a nonsensical kind of way but there's nothing that really hits home. I recently read an interview with Newman on where he said that he writes lyrics that sound good with his arrangements and that he is careful not to add extra syllables that would clutter his melodies. The good side to this technique is clear throughout the cd. Newman's words slide gracefully over his music. The problem however is that the lyrics carry very little emotional weight. Granted Newman's words sound coy and clever but there's nothing behind them, they are paper-thin or skin deep if you want to return to my hot girl analogy. Regardless of this criticism, I still am a fan of this cd. It's fanciful, imaginative power-pop and I'll enjoy it while it lasts. But I just can't see myself turning to this album during a time of emotional distress. Expand

Awards & Rankings

Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. A uniformly appealing summertime sleeper that mostly eschews wall-of-sound blowouts for a sound just as rich and rewarding.
  2. Carl Newman deserves every last bit of praise thrown his way. In a better world, he would be our Elton, our Todd, our McCartney, and Slow Wonder would be on everyone's iPod, rotating on M2 hourly, and his name would be on the lips of everyone from aged Royalty to teen-aged girls.
  3. Alternative Press
    60
    Without the usual suspects, The Slow Wonder just seems like a well-produced demo of songs he's readying for Electric Version's follow-up. [Aug 2004, p.116]