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New Man - 1986 New Man



ARTIST: New Man
ALBUM: New Man
LABEL: Epic
SERIAL: E-40332
YEAR: 1986

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Scott Gilman - lead vocals, keyboards, saxophones * Mark Jones - vocals, guitars * Tim Archibald - bass, keyboards * Brock Avery - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 You Make Me Feel * 02 If You Were * 03 I'm Calling You * 04 Love Real * 05 Way Over There * 06 She Can't Let Him Go * 07 Flying Cowboy * 08 Beautiful Rose * 09 Bad Boys * 10 Say Your Prayers


Background
The city of Boston produced many outstanding bands during the 80's. Though populated by numerous melodic rock acts, the city was better known for its foray into new wave, punk, alt and garage rock as well. One band that came and went with little fanfare - despite being signed to a major label was the quartet named New Man. The main guy in the band was Scott Gilman, a recognised talent in the jazz field and major league exponent of the saxophone. While studying saxophone, Gilman also dabbled in rock, and New Man was the vehicle for his extra-curricular pursuits. New Man delve into MTV styled dance/new romantic music without the attraction of bands such as Animotion or Device, or without the sheer overblown pomposity of Canadians Eight Seconds.


The Songs
Opening out with 'You Make Me Feel', New Man crank up the percussive aspect of their music, no doubt geared toward the club sound of the day. 'If You Were' will appeal to the AOR audience, lots of tinkly keyboard work and melodic rhythm and lead guitar work. The first ballad 'I'm Calling You' has those big over-produced studio drums and percussion, while 'Love Real' bounces around the headspace with Archibald's popping bass and Gilman's squealing sax work both prominent. 'Way Over There' is a likeable tune, quite fast paced, urgent even, with a flurry of instruments getting their equal share of attention across the 4 minute running time. 'She Can't Let Him Go' is so representative of 1986, perhaps they should've played this on 'Miami Vice'. New Man get busy on 'Flying Cowboy', but when they ease off the metronome, a song like 'Beautiful Rose' shows them in a more interesting phase. This one is built upon a stronger (and less throwaway) chorus and some atmospheric elements. In this light, the band shine. Unfortunately they spoil it with the awful 'Bad Boys', but regain some kudos with the finale 'Say Your Prayers', complete with Asian styled keyboard lines and dreamy vocals.


In Summary
Though the band fractured not long after this release, at least a couple of its members went on to other significant bands: Gilman joined Foreigner's touring band as their resident saxophone and keyboard player between 1992 and 1995, though he would eventually return to his first love - jazz. Tim Archibald joined ex Boston and Orion The Hunter member Barry Goudreau in the band Return To Zero, who would have a huge hit with 'Until Your Love Comes Back Around'. New Man make for an interesting though not essential listen, but if mid 80's dance rock is your bag, then you are invited to check them out.


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Tags: New Man 
 
Comments
#1 | Eric on March 23 2011 12:11:40
The same cover artist that did albums for Marshall Crenshaw, Micheal Learns To Rock and others. A good album and spot on review G.
#2 | super80boy on April 01 2014 03:18:11
Broke this one out for another spin, it's been many years since I acquired this at a local store…'If You Were' is one of the better songs and has that high tech new wave rock feel. 'Love Real' is a very tuneful concoction of AOR edgy pop, with touches of Saxophone and a big chorus. Side Two's lead off 'She Can't Let Him Go' and follow on 'Flying Cowboy' are full of interesting hooks and creative arrangements. The other real standout to me is 'Beautiful Rose', just a very melancholic tune. I would say this 'side project band' was a success…Recommended for the more adventurous 80's AOR collectors looking for something more off grid…
 
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