Album Reviews

Newman – The Art of Balance

Released by Chrome Dome Records – 2010

Review Added March 28, 2010

Release date: March 15, 2010
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock
Running Time: 60:40
Links: http://www.newmansound.com

Tracklist
1. Hero To Zero
2. Edge Of The World**
3. Endless**
4. The Miracle
5. Stay With Me
6. Tumble Down**
7. Wish You Well**
8. Find My Heart
9. Your Surrender
10. Break It Again
11. Forever**
12. Stronger**
Hot Tracks**

Steve Newman – Vocals
Rob McEwen – Drums
Mark Thompson-Smith – Bass and Vocals on (1 & 4)
Geoff Wootton – Bass and Vocals on (1, 11 & 12)

Steve Newman has been a force in the aor and melodic world for a while, and many fans take a liking to not only his unique vocals but his strong songwriting skills. Steve’s storied music career can be traced back to the early 80’s in England and some of the early material then was influenced by popular local bands Trobruk and Explorer. As with many musicians there is always a carousel of band lineups, different musical directions and struggles to find your “niche”, but one constant strong point that Steve Newman has developed through the years is the amount of material written and recorded, now the band is back again with their 7th Studio album and most of their records have gotten critical acclaim in the past examples (Heaven Knows and Primitive Soul), but we know the hardest thing is not to break in but stay at the top release after release. With “The Art of Balance“, the formula stays the same and the material in terms of songwriting could be some of the strongest that Steve has ever written.

The initial track “Hero to Zero” intro is definitely something unique to behold, as it pays a sorta tribute to some pasts fallen rock and roll heroes who have fallen from grace if you will. Top notch heavy gritty vocals of Steve hold up strong on “Edge Of The World” blazes through with with a rampage menace and who could forget that catchy chorus? Perfect!!. Classic aor keyboard hints show up in “The Miracle” with a driving power that will make anybody take notice. The crunch rhythm continues at you via way of “Tumble Down” perhaps a favorite on “TAOB”, a perfect mix of aor and hard rock fusion sounding very modern and powerful. The stunning soaring chorus in “Wish You Well” will make you shot it out loud, a perfect hard arena rock anthem that takes the cake. Ohh and you thought that maybe the record was going downhill in closing? We didn’t think so as the closing track “Stronger” is exactly that, a immensely powerful closer that will end this fine record in style.

The style of the album holds a balance mix of aor and hard rock, but with Steve Newman’s strong vocal quality, adds a nice powerful strike that makes the record memorable. It does hold up well against past material and of course the songwriting is solid. It seems to me that the Melodic Rock is enjoying a resurgence of amazing high quality records for a year now we have received nothing but amazing stuff, W.E.T, Giant, Brian Howe to name a few, and it keep on going strong with Newman’s – The Art of Balance. Even though is not groundbreaking as I stated earlier, consistency is hard to achieve and the great bands seems to hit it every time, no exception here. You know what to expect already, high quality material, melodic and heavy at the same time, with some nice ballads in between. Recommended to all fans of Melodic Rock.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys  9/10

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