JOHN NEWMAN

TRIB­UTE

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MUSIC - JAR­RAD BE­VAN

AF­TER a long- run of sen­sa­tional fe­male neosoul singers, Bri­tain de­liv­ers a ta­lented, soul­ful bloke. John Newman has got tal­ent to burn. He draws from the worlds of old- school soul, funk and R& B, re­call­ing a golden era but up­dat­ing it with his own mod­ern swing and at­ti­tude, an oc­ca­sional house pi­ano loop or a break­beat rhythm sec­tion. The 23- year- old York­shire­man has a pow­er­ful, lived- in, raspy tone, it’s his most ap­peal­ing fea­ture. Love Me Again is his smash- hit sin­gle and it is a blast with his croons about for­give­ness. The rous­ing North­ern Soul fl ow of Cheat­ing with its big beats and brass also sounds like a hit. Newman de­liv­ers a gospel work­out in Loos­ing Sleep, a disco jour­ney with Try and touches on the diffi cul­ties of the heart on Easy. Out of My Head is a can­did pi­ano bal­lad about al­co­holism. It’s a gen­uine tear- jerker. This is the best ex­am­ple of his top- qual­ity song­writ­ing. How­ever, a quib­ble: by the time you hit the al­bum’s last third, things start to feel a bit one- trick won­der. Twenty sec­onds into a song you can pre­dict what will hap­pen even if you’ve never heard it be­fore. Not ideal. But he is young and ta­lented and if he takes up the chal­lenge to ex­per­i­ment a lit­tle more on the next al­bum, well, the sky is the limit.

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