Although guitar was played by Williamson on "Don't Look Down", Scott Thurston played guitar on all other tracks, with Williamson concentrating on production. Likewise, although one of the songs was written by Pop and Williamson, five tracks were collaborations between Pop and Thurston.
New Values was released in April 1979 by record label Arista. Although well-received critically and now regarded as one of Pop's best solo efforts, the album was not a commercial success, only reaching number 180 in the Billboard Top 200 album chart.
Videos were made for "I'm Bored" and "Five Foot One".
Charlotte Robinson of PopMatters wrote that the album's "delicate balancing act of tough with tender, rebellion with contentment, sincerity with humor, cocksure wailing with nuanced balladeering [...] makes the album a winner".