Is it my imagination or are the Canadians slowly becoming the new Brits? For years we have laughed at our neighbors to the North, asking them how many words they have for the word “snow” and wondering how they could love a sport that requires long underwear and a penchant for sweaty mullets. Now they have actually come up with some really good music–this album being one its truly shining stars. As the main songwriter for the fine imports, The New Pornographers, Newman has certainly stuck with their progressive-retro sound here, but mixed in a more eclectic sound. Somewhere between The Shins and early Tobin Sprout solo work, Newman creates a nostalgia and warm sound with his music that wraps you up like a good blanket, but still makes you wonder why more people can’t write great pop music like this. There’s just a relaxed cool to this album. It doesn’t try too hard to be hip; it just is. We all know how horribly wrong solo albums can go, but Newman has certainly found his voice here, and it’s the voice of the sunny 60’s wrapped in the gauze of the melancholy of the late nineties, with a totally modern, 2004 slant.