Following up 2009's solo release, Get Guilty, will undoubtedly be a difficult feat for the New Pornographers' Carl "A.C." Newman. An album chock full of hits (both guilty pleasures in addition to some true mainstream masterpieces), Get Guilty showcased Newman's versatility and ability to endure outside of the superweb of talent that the New Pornographers have become. Shut Down the Streets takes an even bigger step in the direction of being radio-friendly, in fact. Exploiting Newman's soft – yet entirely unique – vocals much in the way that Wilco was once an "indie" band that grew into the black hole that cannibalized the Starbucks and Volkswagen galaxies. Is this statement meant to say that Newman is now a sellout? Absolutely not. It's just that Shut Down the Streets can most definitely be put more into the "easy listening" or "sleepytime music" categories than its predecessor. Is it still a beauteous album? Yes. It just doesn't have the spunk that Get Guilty did. Prepare yourself accordingly.
Worth a Listen: "I'm Not Talking"