AOR Heaven [Released 31.08.15]
Steve Newman is back with his band Newman and joining him are his long term drummer Rob McEwen and on backing vocals Geoff Wootton and Mark Thompson-Smith (who worked with Steve Newman on the criminally underrated Big Life album).
‘Prayer For Apollo’ has some stunning vocal arrangements coupled with the solid riff of keys/guitar backing that Newman albums are known for. ‘One Good Reason’ is one of those upbeat hard rock songs that bands like FM do so well and along with the aforementioned ‘Prayer For Apollo’, is another album stand out.
Never one to shy away from a topical or hot topic in his lyrics, there is the moving ‘She Walks In Silence’ about domestic abuse and the title track is a sideswipe at the endless production line of blink and they are gone ‘celebrities’.
A couple of songs try a different sound for the band, as ‘Halo’ has a couple of modern electronic effects, fear not though Steve Newman isn’t going all Chemical Brothers on us! The massed backing vocals give the song a memorable chorus. ‘Scars’ closes the album with Steve backed just by a piano and a guitar solo midway through. Something a little different and it works well.
One of the most consistent and enjoyable bands in the melodic hard rock field, Newman deliver another top quality album of memorable and enjoyable songs. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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