Sign Of The Modern Times
Steve Newman returns with his first album for 3 years – if you don't include the shelved Butterfly Tattoo album. Joining Steve is Pete Jupp and Mike Brooks, with producer Peter Coleman adding his input.|
Pleasingly, despite the 3 year absence, Newman returns, picking up where he left off – with some notable improvements.
First of all the songwriting has matured further. There is more emphasis on a memorable hook and stronger choruses. There is also another dimension to the performance.
The album is same pure melodic rock with touches of English AOR that the previous album shave offered, but has added attraction of a tougher and more direct approach as the album as a whole is more guitar driven.
Keyboards are given their usual prominent role in the mix, but the heavier guitar tone and Steve's strong vocals are what drive the record.
The urgency of the opening track Save Me Tonight is evident. A verse-bridge-chorus setup is always popular and the hooks within this track make it one of Newman's best.
Following that is arguably the best track of Newman's career. Last Known Survivors is precisely why fans buy these kinds of records - moody verse, solid guitar riff, a change of pace for the bridge then a big feel-good chorus. Great stuff!
Elsewhere on the album Masquerade is a great moody mid-tempo track, You Should Be Gone and Heart V Desire are both classy examples of the melodic rock genre and the ballad Watching You is a classic slice of British AOR.
Great performances all round are enhanced by a crisp and even production.
The only way I can see Newman getting better is if every chorus was as strong as the opening two tracks – then he would be unbeatable.
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