Whether with his band the New Pornographers or here on his second solo album, 2009's Get Guilty, Carl Newman brings his particular psychedelic slant on power pop to the fore. The arrangements reveal an intrigue that spans from the smooth, graceful harmonies of the Beach Boys to the trippy, ornamental touches of the Flaming Lips all grounded in a post-punk velocity that never falters. The grumbling guitar strums underneath "The Heartbreak Rides" perfectly counterbalance the L.A. sunshine suggested by Newman's aching, pure vocal. A kaleidoscope of sound follows Newman down each avenue, so tunes such as "The Palace at 4 AM," "Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer," and "Submarines of Stockholm" shimmer with layers of guitar, keyboards, backing vocals and random sound washes, all wrapped into a tight, concise package. While Newman has proved extremely prolific, he's also shown a strong attention to quality control. There are no throwaways, no tossed-off asides. Every song is given the full treatment, with strong melodies given their room to flourish.