[Release Date 22.10.14]
After over 15 years of hard graft and a series of quality albums, Steve Newman has established himself as a respected name among the AOR cognoscenti, now happily getting the message out through more regular gigging.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since his self-titled debut back in 1997, so with the album long out of print he and his band have taken advantage of the advances in studio technology since them to re-record the album.
More straight ahead in style than his more recent adventurous albums, the quality of the song writing which I remember at the time is brought out more clearly.
Broadly the songs fall into two categories- classic, bouncy Brit AOR in the mould of FM or Shy, such as on the opener ‘If It’s Love’ which is still a live favourite to this day, ‘Let Your Heart Rule Your Head’ and the keyboard driven ‘That Kind Of Girl’, even if ‘I Know You’ apes Eddie Money’s ‘I Wanna Go Back’ a bit too close for comfort.
The other style, which will probably appeal more to present-day Newman fans, is in a series of moodier, more atmospheric pieces, notably the lush ballad ‘Say You Believe’,’ Faith’ whose spacious feel shows off his deep vocal style perfectly and ‘Tears Are Not Enough’ which closed the original album.
For added value the ten tracks on the album are accompanied by four bonus tracks from the same period, slightly different again in style with rather more sparse more instrumentation and the likes of ‘Love By Design’ have a slightly funkier feel.
For more recent converts to the South Coast-based melodic rockers, this is a timely introduction to where it all started, bringing their career full circle. ****
Review by Andy Nathan
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