Review by: Justin Hulford (

Year: 2015
Produced by: Newman
Label: AOR Heaven

Newman returns and had set himself a very high bar with Under Southern Skies in 2011 before almost reaching it with Siren in 2013. Surely that sort of momentum couldn’t be maintained?

Well it’s foot full to the floor with the upbeat “The Suit (Skyscraper)” to start and all the Newman essentials appear to be here again. There’s tonnes of energy and some interesting changes to the sound as this progresses, the intricate keys start to “The Elegance Machine” a great example of that.

You often fear that a big album start will lead to a dip later on but it never manifests - the level is high from the beginning and it’s maintained, almost effortlessly. Guitars are huge, the vocals soar and the beat is great throughout.

So why haven’t we all got the Newman name to the fore? I simply don’t understand. This is excellent stuff and easily comparable to the much better known FM who I saw recently at a festival. There are more hooks than a fishing trip and some of the lyrics are worth listening to on their own.

This is almost as good as melodic rock gets.



The Elegance Machine
by MarcusTheRocker at 07 September 2015, 10:11 AM
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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.




Another of the hard working regulars of this scene is one Steve Newman. And he’s consistently delivered quality music year after year and is at it once again on The Elegance Machine.

Picking up where they left off with Siren, this album holds the same musical outlook that The Art Of Balance and Under Southern Skies both did.

So you know what you are going to get – a collection of punchy, guitar and keyboard driven melodic rock songs, with Steve’s distinctive voice and his layered harmony style choruses.

And as usual the album mixes uptempo harder tunes like The Suit, Illuminate and Confess alongside commercial melodic rock such as The Elegance Machine, Pretender Surrender and Send Us Salvation.

Moody tracks such as Halo and She Walks In Silence are balanced between the appearance of two cracking AOR numbers Don’t Stay Lonely and One Good Reason.

What I’m really enjoying on this album is the warmth of Steve’s voice on a few of the tracks (The Elegance Machine and Prayer For Apollo in particular).

Speaking of which, Prayer For Apollo is brilliant – this is a quirky track with a haunting intro and a brilliant anthemic chorus. A definite instant highlight.

Another winning slice of British classic melodic rock and AOR from one of the genre’s most reliable writers. If you own one, you must own them all. Now go get this latest opus.

Andrew McNeice -



Newman – ‘Siren’ album review

Released on: AOR Heaven. Release date: Available now

So, here we have the latest and greatest release from Newman, 'Siren' is in fact the tenth studio release from the band and yes, Steve Newman and ‘friends’ have conjured up something magical once again!

The thing I have always enjoyed about when Steve puts out a Newman album is he is always consistent and I for one have yet to be disappointed by the project.

Much as I’m sure Steve will hate me saying this, Newman has really – At least in the studio. – always been just that, a project as he’s pretty much had different people involved each time, with the exception of one mainstay on drums – I guess the one instrument Steve really does not play, although I’m sure he could! – in Rob McEwen for the past five studio releases.
He’s the guy is who Steve has always called upon to play on each album since the 2006 release ‘Heaven Knows’ and I must say, he’s always done a fine job by me!
Steve has yet to call upon his full live band to perform on a Newman release, but I guess if you can pretty much do it all yourself, go for it!

For this release though, Steve has got other input by calling upon first, from his live band Shaun Bessant for some guitar work on one song, also to Robert Sall (Work of Art / W.E.T.) to co-write another of the songs here. Two other contributors here are Newman’s new live band drummer Pete Newdeck (Eden’s Curse) for co-writes on two songs and to another old friend in Nick Workman (Vega, Kick) on another.

If you’ve been a fan of previous Newman releases, then I’m certain you’ll love this, as I hear elements from various aspects of his previous releases across the board and perhaps as more of an added bonus, the focus is less on ballads / slower paced tracks and more on up tempo numbers.

So to open these twelve tracks, is the storming ‘Scar of Love,’ which kicks things off in a similar rockin’ fashion to say the likes of ‘Heaven Knows,’ or ‘Hero To Zero,’ just rocks like a good ‘un, pummeling double kick drums, huge chorus, great riffs …, you get the picture … Nice start Steve!

‘Had Enough’ has actually become one of my absolute favourites on the album through repeated plays and you know, it almost brings to mind a little of what Steve captured on his very first Newman album, back in ‘98.
Maybe I’m just a nostalgia freak! LOL!
It’s got great production value, just a really wonderful sound that stays pretty simple through the verses, but then the chorus is just so rich. Wonderful!

It’s perhaps because Steve has kept a lot of simplicity in the song structure, something that when you really strip down what Def Leppard do, you realize that the songs themselves from the band, are pretty simple and there’s a lot to be said for that, when it comes to writing hook lines / catchy choruses.

Now I come to mention Def Leppard – And Steve will probably hate me for this, but … - next song ‘Arcadia’ gives a little nod perhaps, not only to perhaps ‘Hysteria’ but maybe John Waite’s ‘Missing You,’ in its structure.
No bad thing, familiarity works great for many folks, but I am only saying ‘similar’ not rip off, as all three songs mentioned of course completely have their own identity.

‘Another Bitch Of A Night,’ is certainly a more edgy track certainly throughout the verses, but then comes the chorus and yes, great harmonies and rich sounding, then the bridge takes you somewhere else with some nice twists.

Next song ‘Feel Her Again’ is simply classic Newman from the building intro to the slick verse and strong chorus once more. Some great changes here and there and Steve calls upon Work of Art’s Robert Säll for the ‘guest’ guitar solo here.
Nicely done indeed, a solo Steve would be proud of.

‘Some Kind of Wondeful’ starts as strong as the opener ‘Scar …’ It just races out of the starting blocks and has another edgy approach to it, almost punky in Steve’s vocal in places, then it almost reminds me a little of something like Toto in their heavier moments. Kind of clever …

Title track ‘Siren’ kind of creeps up on you from its start and then the chorus hits and Steve does it again, winner! There’s certainly classic Newman about this too where I’m reminded of ‘Heaven Knows’ and even ‘Art of Balance’ To a degree, but then Steve pulls out some great interplay with keys too, nice touches and …, next please!

With ‘When It Comes To Love’ Steve brings his live band guitarist Shaun Bessant to provide the lead solo here. It’s one of those songs that build and just really comes into its own, from a very familiar sounding opening riff and then it eases back through the verse and then grows in the chorus and then goes back and forth from easy verses into the up tempo choruses and there’s a little edginess in the bridge, that’s followed by the rather tasty solo from Mr. Bessant. It's just magic stuff!

‘Crossfire’ seems to be classic Newman, but I really think there’s a very Journey like vibe to this song, certainly very much so through the chorus phrasing. The underlying musical interplay through the verses and pre-choruses is also very modern day Journey like too.
There’s quite a bit of layering about ‘Crossfire’ too, really nice, there's almost a likeness to ‘One Step Closer’ here and there too. Good 'un!

There’s quite a different feel / vibe altogether through the verses in ‘Waiting For The Day To Come’ although there are little elements not unlike ‘Primitive Soul’ at times as well.
I do like the - albeit too brief – harmony guitar part in the last third of the song, but there’s obviously a lot more to it. It’s a relatively mid tempo number, with some edginess but still plenty of melody.
It’s all good by me …

So to the albums only true ballad, power ballad that is, made clear by the heavy piano presence. It's something that Steve has certainly mastered in his writing, not just 'the art of balance,' but the art of ballads too! Ha! Sorry, a little cheesy pun there!
The solo in ‘The Foolish One,’ here is to die for, magic Steve, absolute gem mate!

It’s funny as I mentioned on ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ that Steve had captured elements of Toto’s heavier moments in that song, well, there’s a heavy, kind of Toto feel about final track here ‘I Don’t Know Why,’ right down to some very Luke - Steve Lukather - like guitar moments, but the keyboard touches are right there with some of Toto’s best moments.
It’s a great closing track it really is, very strong indeed in such a way that it sounds like an epic track yet it’s under five minutes long. Love it!

As I said at the start, the thing with Newman the band or Newman the man is that it’s consistent and that’s not bad.

He may bring different guest players in, but for the most part, it is Steve Newman singer / songwriter / guitarist / all-round musician and producer to boot and he has not released an average album yet, let alone a bad one!!

So, hat’s off to you again Steve, you really do put so much time and attention to detail into your work and just ignore the doubters, clearly based on the gigs in recent years that the band is picking up, I’m not the only one recognizing that this talent deserves praise.
It’s a winner by me, no doubt!

Rating: 4.75 out of 5

Alun Williams - Chambers Of Rock


Everything you want from a melodic rock record including those massive sing-along choruses that we have come to expect from Newman

‘Siren’ is the tenth studio album from Newman and I’m desperately trying to avoid saying “His best album ever!” because I’m going to start sounding like a broken record, but every inch of me wants to scream it! I’ve been a big fan of Steve ever since his debut; he has been a consistently strong song writer and over the years has produced not just some great albums but also some of my favourite songs of all time.

Again with ‘Siren’ Steve has given us another album with its own style and flavour, a little heavier but still commercial and extremely melodic. The songs have a really fresh feel to them, there’s a lot of energy and urgency that earmarks many of them for the live arena. One of Steve’s strengths is on show again in his lyrics: he always shows much more depth than many others and he never shies away from venturing outside of the standard melodic rock subjects. This gives some songs more substance than you would hear on the standard melodic rock album. Check out title track and also ‘Crossfire’ for great examples of outside the box lyrics.

Steve has a great emotive vocal style and it gives his lyrics a genuinely believable feel to them, and on songs like ‘Feel Her Again’, ‘Arcadia’ and ‘The Foolish One’ it generates a really powerful, lasting impression. ‘Feel Her Again’ is probably the most commercial song here and it has already made my 3am playlist. It’s lyrically quite a dark song dealing with loss but the upbeat feel of the chorus makes it really cathartic. ‘Siren’ does see Steve in full on rocker mode and it is less introspective and emotional than ‘Under Southern Skies’, but the connections and that relatable touch is still ever present, just this time you want to do some head banging and strap on your air keytar! I’m fully expecting full on rockers ‘Scar Of Love’, ‘Had Enough’, ‘Some Kind Of Wonderful’ and ‘Another Bitch Of A Night’ to become firm favourites with live audiences. I have to also mention ‘When It Comes To Love’, a song co-written with Vega’s Nick Workman which is another stunning collaboration from the pair: I absolutely adore Nick’s atmospheric harmony vocals on the verses which make this a really chilling song!

‘Siren’ is another killer album from Newman with many songs destined for the live arena as suggested above. It’s pretty much everything you want from a melodic rock record including those massive sing-along choruses that we have come to expect from Newman. Steve’s a true unsung hero of the melodic rock genre and has yet again delivered a fantastic album, so go on do your ears a favour, buy it and play it loud!

Woody - Rocktopia


Steve Newman is back with a new mighty fine album filled with rockin´melodic rock/AOR and a great follow up to Under Southern Skies (2011). This new album is slightly tougher than his previous album with more crunchy guitars with heavier riffs but very melodic. So if your own copies of his earlier work then this is an album that won´t dissapoint you. Just listen to the start of the album with the great rocker Scar Of Lover that follows by the fantastic AOR tune Had Enough with riff strong guitars and a huge chorus. Arcadia is a nice mid-tempo rocker with rich of melodies and a chorus that reminds a bit of Dare. The powerful chorus on Another Bitch Of A Night is fantastic, it´s filled with brilliant hooks and tough riffs. Some Kind Of Wonderful sounds like a song that Erik Martensson could have written. It´s filled with heavy melodic riffs and big hooklines and a catchy powerful chorus, great stuff. The Foolish One is the only ballad on the album, a nice pianobased song with lovely melodies and a strong chorus. The album ends with the fantastic AOR-rocker Don´t Know Why that even includes some dut-dut keyboards/piano and great guitars. This songs has some Foreigner written over it with a stunning chorus with nice background vocals. Siren is a awesome album and it could be Newman´s best album so far. So don´t hesitate to get this album if your into melodic rock/AOR. There´s also nice guests on the album, such as Robert Sall (Work Of Art, W.E.T), Pete Newdeck (Eden´s Curse) and Nick Workman (Vega).

Juha Harjula -


Newman: Siren

One of the unsung heroes of the UK melodic rock scene for a decade and a half now, Steve Newman has through a variety of bands illustrated his talents as a songwriter, guitarist and singer. However it is through the act which takes his name where those skills shine brightest. Siren is, unbelievably, Steve's ninth studio album as Newman and his second with melodic specialists AORHeaven. It is also an album which maintains the burning hot run of form the Englishman and his band has been on since 2010's simply stunning The Art Of Balance.

Cleverly Newman the band have never stuck to a formula, instead using the full array of colours available in the melodic rock sphere to offer up albums that vary enough from each other to have their own distinct characters, while being immediately distinguishable as the band they are. Siren is no exception, combining aspects of previous Newman efforts, while continuing to push into new ground. Resulting in an album that is both fresh and invigorating, while also sounding like the best friend you've known for many a year.

"Scar Of Love" starts things off in surprisingly scything fashion, with a machine gun riff and smack of drums leading into something veering into more metal than rock, Steve immediately laying down an authoritative vocal. However when the harmonies take over for the chorus, the welcome Newman trademark sound greets you with arms open. It is a great opener and while the urgency isn't quite repeated as you get to know the other tracks on Siren, the effect is the same. "Had Enough" infuses a staccato riff with an equally jabbing vocal, while "Arcadia" provides the first genuine sing along of the album, even while it takes the tempo down to melodic mid-paced swayer. Then factor in the brooding title track where an atmospheric verse alludes to Magnum, while a super melodic chorus offers up a far brighter mood, "Waiting For The Day" where the main riff ducks and dives and "Crossfire" which is fuelled by a punchy main riff, poised slow sections and another heartfelt vocal and Siren really is an eclectic yet focused collection which never hits wide of the mark.

Guitarist Shaun Bessant not only bolsters Steve's own guitar contribution, but through numerous fiery solos infuses Siren with a real sense of energy and vitality, while keyboard player Paul Boyle lays down the melody from which much of that guitar work springs from. However it is the contribution from new drummer Pete Newdeck (Eden's Curse - and vocalist in Tainted Nation) that really stands out, with his mix of no nonsense snare bursts and clever kick drum work adding a real weight to songs already capable of landing fairly and squarely in the memory banks.

If you've never sampled the delights that Newman have to offer, you really can delve into this band's catalogue at any stage and be impressed with what you find. However Siren is as good as anything Newman have produced before, if not better and on that basis what better starting point could you have?

Steven Reid - Sea of Tranquility




NEWMAN - “Siren”

AOR Heaven 2013


Review by: Alan Holloway

Are you ready to rock? Of course you are, or you wouldn’t be reading this. One person who is ready, willing and able is Steve Newman, the vocalist, guitarist and general head honcho of Newman. This is a man who knows the cardinal rule of rock music: if you name the band after yourself you can’t get fired. “Siren” is the ninth full album since 1998, and it’s been two years since the very well received “Under Southern Skies”, with no reason to suspect that the new disc won’t be afforded a similar reaction.

As usual, Newman himself does the lions share of the work, partnered up with his usual drummer Rob McEwen. Tourring guitarist Shaun “Da Prawn” Bessaant and Robert Sall both get a track each to show off their own guitar skills, but this is the Newman show, make no mistake. As ever, it’s an incredibly solid offering, full of hard hitting melodic rock, more guitar than keyboards and full of Newman’s standard ‘take no prisoners’ attitude. His vocals are as good as ever, and the clean production (by Steve himself, natch) really allows the songs to stand out. The stall is set out with opener “Scar Of Love”, an immediately catchy track with a cool, angry guitar riff. Much like opener “Hero To Zero” from 2010’s “Balance” album, it doesn’t let up, although thankfully on this album there’s no annoying (and poinyless) intro, as we’re straight into the action with no twatting about. There’s a couple of slower tracks toward the end, and whilst “When It Comes To Love” is a great, powerful ballad, “The Foolish One” tends to drag a little. That said, it’s the only track of the twelve on offer that does, and it does have a great solo which helps.

“Siren” will naturally delight existing Newman fans, and with any luck will win him some new ones. It’s up there with his best work, with this and the last two albums all coming over very strongly indeed as quality hard melodic rock. If you like melodic rock that has a little bite to it and doesn’t have songs about cruising down highways then Newman is pretty much a must have, as with “Siren” his winning streak continues unabated.