NEWMAN – Into The Monster’s Playground (2021) Review

ENGLISH REVIEW INCLUDED BELOW

Álbum 12+1 de este gran compositor británico nacido en Bedford en 1966. ¿Qué decir de este genial músico? En 1997 formó la banda Newman y desde entonces no ha parado de sacar discos de una calidad innegable, al margen de haber sabido evolucionar en su sonido con una elegancia fuera de toda duda. La banda Newman la forman Steve Newman a la voz, a la guitarra y teclados junto a Rob Mc Ewen a la batería y percusión. Todos los temas de este álbum están escritos y producidos por Steve Newman.

Para los que hayan seguido su carrera desde el principio creo realmente que se trata de un músico muy infravalorado y que merecería mucho más reconocimiento a nivel internacional.

Sus primeros trabajos siempre han ido más orientados al AOR y con el tiempo ha ido enrudeciendo su sonido y buscando otras aventuras dentro del Hard Rock melódico, hasta incluso ha probado otras experiencias como la de Compass, donde demuestra el genio que lleva dentro y llega a adentrarse a sonidos más eclécticos con influencias de bandas progresivas como SAGA, DREAM THEATER o IT BITES entre otras…

Debo admitir que Steve Newman me dejó prendado con su obra “Sign Of The Modern Times”, que me parece su obra magna y en la que acabó de constatarse ese cambio de sonido que se inició en su gran trabajo “Dance In The Fire”, allí encontrábamos ese gran tema que de haber salido en los 80 hubiera irrumpido en las listas con contundencia; hablo de esa gran canción llamada “Worlds Apart”.

Siempre me ha gustado esta banda principalmente porque tiene un sonido inconfundible. El equilibrio que encuentro entre esas guitarras y base rítmica contundente; respaldados por esa base de teclados tan sólida, me parece tan perfecto como la portada del propio álbum dónde aparentemente parece avecinarse la tormenta perfecta.

Temas como “Start This Fire” y “Timebomb” son auténticos trallazos que vienen a reflejar lo que indico en el párrafo anterior. “Hurricane Sky” es una auténtica maravilla con ese sonido Newman tan característico y esos teclados tan presentes conjuntamente con las guitarras “en toda tu cara”.

 “I Am The One” que empieza con un riff super rockero, deriva en un tema AOR excelso que parece interpretado hasta por el mismísimo Jeff Scott Soto (que me perdone Javier Ojotigre Survivor pero Steve está impresionante). Tenéis que experimentarlo por vosotros mismos… El álbum no tiene desperdicio…

En definitiva si os va el Rock melódico con mucha clase, con un guitarra de exquisito toque, feeling y garra, junto a esa voz tan personal (que personalmente me encanta)  que nos ofrece Steve, este nuevo trabajo será un valor seguro como todo lo que ha hecho este músico hasta ahora. Es para mi sorprendente como es capaz de mantener este alto nivel en todos sus álbumes sin caer en los clichés que muchas bandas actualmente ofrecen. Recomendado para seguidores de HAREM SCAREM, STREETS, KANSAS 80´s, SEVENTH KEY. Enhorabuena Steve por tu enorme trabajo.

 

                                                                                                              José Luis Gutiérrez   3ZKS!         

 

ENGLISH REVIEW

12+1 album by this great British composer born in Bedford in 1966. What can we say about this great musician? In 1997 he formed the band Newman and since then he has not stopped releasing albums of undeniable quality, besides having been able to evolve his sound with an elegance beyond any doubt. The band Newman is formed by Steve Newman on vocals, guitar and keyboards along with Rob Mc Ewen on drums and percussion. All the songs on this album are written and produced by Steve Newman.

For those who have followed his career from the beginning, I really believe that he is a very underrated musician who deserves much more recognition on an international level.

His early works have always been more oriented to AOR and over time he has been getting more and more refined and looking for other adventures in melodic Hard Rock, and even tried other experiences like Compass, where he shows the genius he has inside and gets into more eclectic sounds with influences from progressive bands like SAGA, DREAM THEATER or IT BITES among others…

I have to admit that Steve Newman left me impressed with his work «Sign Of The Modern Times», which seems to me his masterpiece and in which the change of sound that began in his great work «Dance In The Fire» was confirmed, there we found that great song that if it had been released in the 80’s would have burst into the charts with forcefulness; I am talking about that great song called «Worlds Apart».

I have always liked this band mainly because they have an unmistakable sound. The balance I find between those guitars and a strong rhythmic base; backed by that solid keyboard base, seems to me as perfect as the cover of the album itself where apparently the perfect storm seems to be brewing.

Tracks like «Start This Fire» and «Timebomb» are authentic thrashers that come to reflect what I indicate in the previous paragraph. «Hurricane Sky» is a real marvel with that characteristic Newman sound and those keyboards so present together with the «in your face» guitars.

 «I Am The One» which starts with a super rock riff, drifts into a superb AOR theme that seems to be played even by Jeff Scott Soto himself (may Javier Ojotigre Survivor forgive me but Steve is awesome). You have to experience it by yourselves… The album has no waste…

In short, if you like melodic Rock with a lot of class, with a guitar of exquisite touch, feeling and grit, along with that voice so personal (that I personally love) that Steve offers us, this new work will be a safe value as everything this musician has done so far. It is surprising to me how he is able to maintain this high level in all his albums without falling into the clichés that many bands currently offer. Recommended for fans of HAREM SCAREM, STREETS, KANSAS 80’s, SEVENTH KEY. Congratulations Steve for your great work.

                                                                                                              José Luis Gutiérrez 3ZKS! 

 

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