NEWMAN — Under Southern Skies (review)

NEWMAN — Under Southern Skies album cover Album · 2011 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Stephen
Steve Newman, an underappreciated artist but very consistent in bringing out his 'A' game to the scene, is active again in 2011. After finishing a five years project of BIG LIFE which was eventually out early this year, the eight release of his own band, NEWMAN, finally sees the light of day in the second half, under AOR Heaven label management. Some call 'The Art of Balance' a better album, but in my opinion, 'Under Southern Skies' beats last year's album by a tiny gap.

'Killing Me' is a brilliant uptempo opener, the chorus is simply stunning. 'If He Loves You' is even better, this is pure AOR but kinda heavier, possibly the best track here. 'Strength To Carry On' is an acoustical ballad gem; 'Ghost In The Night' is a superb melodic rock tune; 'Fire With Fire' is a tremendous AOR ballad; and 'Save No Prisoners' builds up slow and erupted into a spectacular show. Those are the thick side of this album, but the rest are also good anyway.

'Under Southern Skies' and 'Without Warning' has a risky verse, not all folks can appreciate them, but Newman is always capable of providing great choruses. 'Wish You Were Here' might be a warm and predictable pop-rock ballad, but it's perfectly executed and a great one. 'Monsterrat' is a classy ballad take with a beautiful piano touch, a good closing track.

The production is unbelievably awesome, this is the highlight of Newman's expertise, creating such a splendid job of unleashing a crystal clear sound off the speaker. His vocal is also great as always, this is a very classy band and album, and if only a five-stars hotel allow a melodic rock band to perform, NEWMAN should be the best pick. Sitting tight in my top 10, it's a loud message to fans of AOR that 'Under Southern Skies' is also a must buy of the year. 90%
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