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Newman - 1999 One Step Closer



ARTIST: Newman
ALBUM: One Step Closer
LABEL: Escape Music
SERIAL: ESM 044
YEAR: 1999

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Steve Newman - vocals, guitar, keyboards * Mark Mulholland - drums * William Marshall - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 One Step Closer * 02 Desperate Hours * 03 Don't Walk Away * 04 Judgement Day * 05 Should've Been Me * 06 Taboo * 07 Fire Of Love * 08 Strongest Heart * 09 Strange Animal * 10 The Call * 11 Joanne

WEBLINKS: www.newmansound.com


Background
We've reviewed a few of Steve Newman's albums over the years, but it looks like we've forgotten to review 1999's 'One Step Closer', which I believe to be his best ever! How the hell did that happen? From the get-go, this is storming AOR, really much better and immediate than his many releases since. 'One Step Closer' is Steve's second album, and his first for Escape Music. Let's not muck around. There are some superb songs waiting for an assessment..


The Songs
The opening title track 'One Step Closer' is the perfect way to start, with hooks everywhere. Even your nearest local Fishing Supply store won't have as many as this track! 'Desperate Hours' is absolute killer stuff. Some of the best AOR from 1999, and that year wasn't too flash, let's be honest. If Steve was to put together a Greatest Hits package, then this track will be on it, and toward the top of the pecking order. Just when you think it couldn't get better, 'Don't Walk Away' rolls right on in like a stormcloud. By now you'd be thinkng, he must've sold his soul to the devil to write songs this good! lol! 'Judgement Day' sounds like a Strangeways outtake, and I'm sure our Steve has listened to their back-catalogue for sure. The tempo on 'Should've Been Me' sounds a little staggered, and reminds me of Winger in their not so stellar moments.

'Taboo' is back to some OTT musicianship, plus the big gang-chant vocals too which adds to its presence. 'Fire Of Love' is the sort of commercial hard rock made popular by the aforementioned Winger and even Alice Cooper during his late 80's and early 90's timeframe. 'Stongest Heart' is probably the most laid back track you'll hear on the album. It takes awhile to get going, and by the 3 and half minute mark you will eventually hear some stunning guitar soloing. 'Strange Animal' is the longest track here. No, it doesn't follow the boring pattern laid down by Iron Maiden, Steve does a far better job, but the high-points and crescendos don't appear until right at the end (the 8 minute mark). the album finishes with two highlights for mine. 'The Call' and 'Joanne' ensures this album needs to be listened right to the end. Simply fantastic!


In Summary
What is interesting here, is the length of the songs right across the album. The shortest being 5 minutes, the longest 10 minutes. That is surprising indeed. Steve would release a handful of albums for Escape Music right up to 2006's 'Heaven Knows' before going out on his own. But for your own sake, turn the clock to 1999 and get an earful of this tremendous CD.


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Tags: Newman 
 
Comments
#1 | jeffrey343 on October 14 2015 15:06:32
He did put out a hits collection in 2008 called 'Decade'. It has four songs from this album - 'One Step Closer', 'Judgement Day', 'Taboo', and 'The Call'. I'm afraid 'Desperate Hours' didn't make it.

This is available digitally on Amazon for ten bucks in the U.S. I may check it out, as the samples sound good. I really haven't gotten into his albums as much as you'd expect me to since I like this style. I think it's because he's not a superb vocalist. Not bad by any means, but not a 'sing the phone book' kind of guy. I don't tend to put the albums I have of his on repeat play, but I'll put a few songs on playlists or listen to them when I put my collection in shuffle mode.
#2 | george_the_jack on October 14 2015 19:59:42
Agree. This is a solid album and his best to date.
 
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