NEWMAN – Under Southern Skies (2011)
Mr. Steve Newman returns quickly to the Melodic Rock/AOR circle by following up what was one of his strongest albums to date ‘The Art of Balance’ released just last year.
This time around we have the album title “Under Southern Skies”, which marks the 8th studio album from Newman since he got started back in 1997.
Steve has been on a consistent tear of the scene over the last few years releasing some very solid melodic laden albums and this new one is no different. If you’re fan of AOR then you have probably known about Newman for a long time, especially now he has been consider one of the most respected UK artists in the genre.
“Under Southern Skies” once again features Steve Newman on Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, and Rob McEwen taking on Drum responsibilities. There is also an appearance by Shaun Bessant playing Lead Guitar on the track “If He Loves You”.
Most of the songs have a high energy of melodious melancholy, with Steve’s usual AOR touches of brilliance.
There’s some corking tracks, with the cream of the crop being opener “Killing Me”, the great power ballad “Strength To Carry On”, and the chorus heaven of “Ghost In The Night”.
The more straight forward “If He Loves You” has patented the build up hook as it eases its way into a melodic solo halfway through the track.
The title track seems to plays more like a maturity in songwriting for Steve and Co, as the song progresses nicely with a modern hard rock feel.
The more typical stylistically sound of Steve comes out on the easy sunday morning sounds of “Fire With Fire”, a simple laid back atmosphere tranquilizes the overall sound of this neat little track.
The album closer “Monsterrat” is another highlight, one of the best melodies ever crafted by Newman.
On “Under Southern Skies” Steve Newman has created again an album with rich textures and wonderful sonics, however they key to its success is the fact that it is crammed with excellent songs and great arrangements.
Hook-laden Melodic Rock / AOR songs with crystal clear production, catchy choruses and a very melodic disposition without any kind of rough edges.
If you haven’t caught up with the rich and rewarding music of Newman yet, “Under Southern Skies” is an excellent place to start.
01 – Killing Me
02 – If He Loves You
03 – Under Southern Skies
04 – Strength To Carry On
05 – Ghost In The Night
06 – Without Warning
07 – She’s Gone
08 – Fire With Fire
09 – Save No Prisoners
10 – Wish You Were Here
11 – Montserrat
Steve Newman : Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Rob McEwen : Drums & Percussion
Shaun Bessant : Lead Guitar on “If He Loves You”
BUY IT !