Newman - 'Decade II'

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Newman - 'Decade II'

A good addition to any Newman fan's collection, regardless of whether they are new or old. Here's to the next decade!

Steve Newman and his band celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. They marked their tenth year with a two disc release and have chosen to do so again for their second decade celebration. It picks up where 'Decade' left off, pulling together seventeen songs from 'Primitive Soul', 'The Art Of Balance', 'Under Southern Skies' and lastly 2015's 'The Elegance Machine' albums. The second disc is a treasure trove of tracks that never made it to any album, "in-progress" songs and some written for other artists.

Making an impact comes 'Hero To Zero', a heavy melodic riff accompanies Steve Newman's voice, which resembles Sammy Hagar's, and it gets things moving in classic Newman fashion. 'Heading From Your Heart' and 2007's 'Primitive Soul' title track both have harmonies galore, fast-paced guitar and are catchy as hell – all ingredients that lie at the heart of their formula.

'Ghost In The Night', 'Feel Her Again' and 'Killing Me' see keyboards move forward in the mix, thus adding another dimension to the soundscape. No Newman album would be complete without a ballad and 'Stay With Me' and 'Fire With Fire' certainly have their hearts in Arena Rock.

The title track from 'The Elegance Machine' album illustrates more recent writing expertise, and whilst keeping the traditional Newman components in place, the atmospheric sound additions build up the wall of melody even more. 'Scar Of Love' and 'Had Enough' (from the 'Siren' album) pull in hard-edged, pumping Rock and merge it with chorused vocal passages.

For those passionate about Newman, disc two contains many hidden gems. The first track, 'Breaking The Barrier', has a gentle ramp up before an all-out assault on the harmonised chorus takes place; some beautiful keyboard and guitar work are also encased within. 'One More Night With You' is extremely commercial – think FM and you're not far out! – while elsewhere, 'World Keeps Turning' and 'She's The Woman' are both guaranteed to get feet tapping, hands clapping and heads going. This second disc closes with 'My Fantasy' which is very Journey-esque – what a way to finish!

Newman's work has always been of a high standard and with twenty years of output that keeps getting better, plus the fact that he can put out a disc of material that never made it to an album, of which each track is frankly brilliant, shows what a perfectionist the man is.

This is a good addition to any Newman fan's collection, regardless of whether they are new or old. Here's to the next decade!

Paul Sabin

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