Review #131: Newton Faulkner – Human Love

Artist – Newton Faulkner
Album – Human Love (2015)

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Newton Faulkner is a singer-songwriter from Surrey, UK. Faulkner shot to fame in 2007 with his debut album ‘Hand Built by Robots’, this release topping the UK album charts and becoming certified double platinum. ‘Hand Built by robots’ and Newton’s career was pushed by the extraordinarily popular singles ‘Dream Catch Me’, an original, and ‘Teardrop’, a cover by the also very popular artists Massive Attack. Including his debut, Newton Faulkner now has 5 albums under his belt, including many more hit songs (‘Pulling Teeth,’Brick by Brick’). This is the 5th and most recent release ‘Human Love’.

For the most part ‘Human Love’ sticks to Newtons Faulkners general style, the percussive guitar playing, dynamically rising/upbeat song format and some beautiful falsetto vocal melodies. The track ‘Get Free’ is probably the most familiar track to Faulkner fans, including memorable hooks in the choruses and a large build up of percussion to create this sense of a large scale ensemble. Every so often however the album shifts in style, to create variety and to try something a little different. The song ‘Shadow Boxing’ heavily features electronic instrumentation such as synths and programmed drums, smothered in reverb to create that iconic 80s snare, but still focusing on the vocals and percussion mainly to make sure Newton is the focus. Because of this often shift in tone ‘Human Love’ never really stagnates, it enjoyably glides through each track, without the listener ever getting bored or wanting to skip a certain few. Production is great, it seems like a simple concept to produce (an acoustic singer-songwriter album), however as mention the build up of chords, melodies, harmonies, percussion all from Faulkners guitar need their own space in the mix, level, panning and e.q wise.

I feel Newton Faulkner is yet to write a bad album, some have included catchier tracks, which have made certain albums more popular, but all have been great. ‘Human Love’ simply adds to this well written/produced collection of albums, certainly not being anything too innovative or out of left field, but perfectly enjoyable.


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