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Newman - 'Newman 2014' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/c0/c8/bd/Newman-Newman-2014-53-1445545777.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 22, 2015    
 
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Every home should have one.

In reply to constant queries about his hard-to-find 1998 debut, U.K. Melodic Rock maestro Steve Newman has taken the rather odd step of re-recording the whole thing from scratch, along with no less than four bonus tracks written around the same time. Imbuing the songs with his current high standard of sonics is a great idea on its own, but maybe what I didn't expect is, that for an artist whose output has steadily improved over the years, these early songs really do hold up well today.

With no credits to hand I'm assuming that Newman plays everything bar the drums, and whilst it's been a while since I played the original disc, the guitars have been beefed up in line with his last few records, but without losing the pure AOR style of the originals. I also think it's fair to say that Newman is a better singer now than he was then.

Starting with the killer live favourite 'If It's Love', this is a Melodic Rock master-class with driving beats, finely-tuned melodies, classy guitar parts, perfectly placed keyboard fills and all the requisite vocal layers and grandiose arrangements that the best of the genre demands. Newman's song-writing style is quite unique and immediately recognisable, his huge choruses on the uplifting 'Say You Believe', the heartfelt 'What Does It Take' and the instantly memorable 'When I Wake Up' lodging themselves in your brain for weeks at a time. The consistency of the songs makes it hard to pick favourites but maybe the stunning guitar solos of the punchy 'Let Your Heart Rule' and the sublime piano on the power ballad 'Tears Are Not Enough' edge them that little bit over the line.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Of the four bonus tracks, the contagious Pop Rocker 'Crush On You' and the cool organic feel of 'Stand Up' are the most valuable additions to an already strong set, along with the classic Bluesy Rocker and original Japanese bonus track 'Backdoor Man'.

I'm not usually an advocate of artists spending valuable studio time on projects like this, as it usually means that the next new album has been pushed back because of it, but in the case of 'Newman 2014', the results and the reason behind it are fully justified. Every home should have one.

Phil Ashcroft

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