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Newman - The Elegance Machine

The Elegance Machine
by MarcusTheRocker at 07 September 2015, 9:11 AM

What pops into your head when you hear the words Britain and Melodic Rock? I’m sure your response to that will be something like, I didn’t think the Brits did Melodic Rock. For a while I would have agreed with you as I’m usually used to hearing a mixture of Heavy Metal, Classic Rock and Hard Rock from the Brits and Melodic Rock from the Europeans i.e. Sweden, so naturally I don’t usually associate the Melodic Rock genre with the UK. Maybe that will change today with the subject of this review which is a new British Melodic Rock album which comes from a band who go by the name of NEWMAN.

Forming in 1997, this British Melodic Rock & AOR band is fronted by Steve Newman who is the main songwriter in the band as well as handling all guitars, vocals and keyboards on his albums along with various other musicians who have handled duties such as keyboards, bass and drums.

The current studio line-up is Steve on vocals, guitars and keyboards and Rob McEwen who has handled drumming duties since 2006. When playing live, the band features musicians such as Pete Newdeck on drums, Shaun Bessant on guitar, Paul Boyle on keyboards and Dave Bartlett on bass.

Having already released a total of 10 successful albums under their belt which includes the 2014 re-record/re-release of their first album, it’s time for NEWMAN to release album number 11 and that will be the main focus of this review.

The new album, entitled “The Elegance Machine” is 12 brand new tracks of British Melodic Rock & AOR music which has been written and produced once again by the team of Steve Newman and Rob McEwen with guest appearances by Geoff Wootton and Mark-Thompson Smith who provide additional backing vocals on a few songs each.

Clocking in at around 56 minutes long, the new album from this British based band is one of those CD’s that you never want to put down or stop listening to as with each new track that is blasted into your ears, you are treated to some fantastic songwriting.

Although this is the only NEWMAN album I have heard so far, I’m hoping it’s not my last as this has gotten me intrigued and interested into checking out the previous albums so I can see for myself just how good the songs were even on the older albums as I did find myself really liking these new songs.

From the opening melodies of the albums opener “The Suit (Skyscraper)” to the beautiful melodies of the closing song “Scars”, this is definitely one of those albums that no matter how many times you hear it, not only will it never get old or boring but you will find yourself loving it more and more with every listen.

Then again, a lot of great Melodic Rock & AOR bands are capable of doing just that which is writing albums that become quick favorites even after the first listen, and will make you love it the more you listen to it, as the catchy melodies and the beautiful songwriting will make you come back for more every time.

This album just happens to be one of those that becomes more amazing every time you hear it as there are a lot of like-able tracks on this such as the awesome title track “The Elegance Machine”, the heavy hard hitting “Illuminate”, the chilled and relaxed “Halo”, the epic “Prayer for Apollo”, the melodic “Don’t Stay Lonely”, the catchy “Pretender Surrender” and everything else in between.

I think the reason the songs sound as good as they do is because it focuses on a few key themes in some of the songs, such as greed and domestic violence among others. As you listen to these songs over and over, some of these concepts really do make you think hard about the world we live in today.

Another good reason these songs sound amazing is all down of course to the strong songwriting and production techniques which are both designed to work with each other to bring out the best in the melodies.

As you listen to this, you get a clear sense of this unity, as the excellence of the clean production means that no matter how many times you listen to the songs, they will never get old as you will always be able to enjoy every little aspect of the songs including the guitar riffs, the bass riffs and drum beats from the rhythm section, the melodic keyboards and of course the powerful and amazing vocal performance as well.

Bottom line, the new album from NEWMAN is yet another prime example of why I love the Melodic Rock & AOR genre as you can create some fantastic and amazing songs that will never get old no matter how often you hear them and this is one of those albums and bands that proves that theory. If you love Melodic Rock, AOR music, British Rock/Metal or are familiar with the music of NEWMAN then you will not be disappointed as this is one fantastic album.

4 Star Rating

1. The Suit (Skyscraper)
2. The Elegance Machine
3. Don’t Stay Lonely
4. Illuminate
5. Confess
6. Halo
7. Prayer for Apollo
8. She Walks in Silence
9. One Good Reason
10. Pretender Surrender
11. Send Us Salvation
12. Scars
Steve Newman - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Rob McEwen - Drums & Percussion

Guest Artists

Geoff Wootton - Backing Vocals on “The Suit (Skyscraper)”, “One Good Reason” and “Halo”
Mark Thompson-Smith - Backing Vocals on “Illuminate”, “Send Us Salvation” and “Pretender Surrender”
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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