Tuesday, September 1, 2015

NEWMAN: "The Elegance Machine"

Rating: RRRR

Label: AOR Heaven

Review By: Alan Holloway

Not to be confused with the other Steve Newman, this is brand new album from one of the UKs more interesting melodic rock exports. It’s been five long years since the deservedly well received ‘Under Southern Skies’, and like that album ‘The Elegance Machine’ showcases a man who obviously takes a lot of care over his output.

Thankfully bereft of a mood setting (translation: boring) opening piece, ‘The Elegance Machine’ wastes no time in setting it’s stall as a wee paced, melodic album with ‘The Suit (Skyscraper)’, a glorious opener that will delight any Newman fan, all the better for being followed by the catchy title track. For me, though, the album truly comes alive seven tracks in with ‘Prayer For Apollo’, a great song with smart lyrics and an irresistible hook. This is partnered with ‘She Walks In Silence’, a heavily emotional song about spousal abuse that nonetheless has a great hook. Whilst there’s certainly nothing wrong with the rest of the songs, these two are the ones I come back to the most, lyrically and melodically. ‘One Good Reason’ follows them, and has the honour of being the bounciest track on the disc, and a highly infectious one at that.

Steve Newman isn’t one of those people who you see on magazine covers or doing a nationwide support tour. What he does is make some very good AOR albums that demonstrate a real knack for melody and lyrics. If you get the chance to see one of his occasional live performances I suggest you take advantage, and while you’re at it go and get ‘The Elegance Machine’, because it just may be his best work yet.

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