|Newman Heaven Knows||Escape Music|
Englishman Steve Newman returns in quick time for album number 5. I have always enjoyed Newman's albums and without doubt each one has been that little bit better than the one before.|
The last album Sign Of The Modern Times was his best to date and left him with a lot of work to do to match or surpass it.
Steve made a slight change of tact for this album. Everything except for the thumping drum beats are from Steve. A truly hands on effort this, with keyboards, guitars, bass and vocals all coming from the man himself.
I'm not sure who mixed this album; whether it was Steve or someone else, but whoever is responsible did a cracking job at ensuring all the instruments get equal room to breathe and be heard clearly.
The sound is classic melodic rock with that 80s influence snapping at its heals, but is in no way dated or routine. I'm pleased to say that Newman has eclipsed himself again and Heaven Knows is easily his best album to date.
The stars of this record – the songs themselves. These are the best set of songs to make a Newman record yet and are the most instant also.
Normally I require a little time to grow into Steve's records, but on this occasion I only needed a second spin to be sold on the contents.
Track By Track:
Heaven Knows is a cracking uptempo melodic rocker to get things underway, with a smooth chorus giving way to a lush chorus mixing keyboards with guitars and harmony vocals.
Higher is a little more subtle, yet features a harder edge guitar riff and the chorus comes in two parts and is classic Newman.
Aint Gonna Cry Forever is possibly the best Newman song ever! What a killer chorus! I just love it to death and think it is an example of the very best classic British AOR can offer.
Move On is a little heavier and has a certain groove. It changes the pace of the album to date but still features another great chorus.
The mid-tempo ballad The Way You Love Me is another great example of how simple and familiar melodic rock can still be so effective when done with passion and quality.
Following the mid-tempo ballad is this slower power ballad. Learning To Live again features a monster chorus and again is one of Steve's best ballads.
The Circle picks the tempo up again to how the album opened. And yet again - another strong chorus.
This Time has a big groove to it and some nice guitar parts. Not as strong a chorus here, but not close to being a filler either.
Wait takes a few listens to get to know and works well at this point of the album.
Never Meant To Fall In Love is a uptempo melodic rocker with a groovy verse and a straight AOR chorus.
Sport Of Kings is a heavier and darker track that shows another side of Newman. A good chorus gets better with each listen.
On Any Other Sunday is a tribute to the victims of the 2005 Tsunami. This acoustic ballad closes the album on a strong, yet sentimental note.
What it is though, is a very fine example of classic style, 80s influenced British melodic rock and in my opinion, Steve Newman's best and most consistent effort yet!
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