Newman - 'Aerial'

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Newman - 'Aerial'

Long live AOR!

Newman returns with 'Aerial', their eleventh studio outing and if past releases are anything to go by, the material found here will be full of AOR goodness!
Literally launching like a jet fighter into the first track, 'Fear Of Flying', Steve Newman's mastery of lyric writing is in full effect and is perfectly delivered in true style. The driving rhythm of 'Don't Wake The Lion' and Steve Newman's vocal blended with his trademark big choruses makes this track an instant winner – turn up the car radio for this one! Drums and keys are pulled to the forefront for 'Can't Stop Loving You', the guitar riffs are less frequent but when they kick in, their power, clarity and presence add another dimension to an already great song.

'Life To Remember' could easily have been found on a Vega album and goes to show that a pro like Steve Newman can beat the newcomers at their own game! Elsewhere, parts of 'High Tonight (Aerial)' carry a drum beat to make Adam Ant proud whilst the track ebbs and flows with synth padding, glorious guitar solos and, of course, a sing-along chorus.

Steve Newman is in a select club whose membership is restricted to singer/song-writers with a powerful velvet-toned voice and a love of AOR. FM's Steve Overland would be another member; both are under-rated but whatever project they are involved in, they throw their hearts into and seem to have the golden touch.

'Two Sides' has a split personality – on one side it's a hard-edged Rocker, and on the other, it's a silky, dreamy ballad, but both sides of this coin mean this track is minted in Hard Rock heaven! Slowing things down is 'I Am Your Man' but it's still full of big choruses and fluid guitar licks aplenty. When the first few notes of 'Nothing Left' ring out, it's apparent that this is going to be another class-filled Newman anthem and it doesn't disappoint with more classic Newman textures and riffery.

To deliver an album without a single weak track is a feat in itself, but to be on your eleventh release and still putting out such high-quality material defies belief. Steve Newman hasn't attempted to change what is obviously a good formula for him, but going off piste for his subject matter has kept the songs sounding fresh and retaining interest. Long live AOR!

Paul Sabin

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