Following on from his 2013 debut album Tribute, UK retro-soul sensation drops his second album Revolve – let’s see how it fairs…
The 25 year old Yorkshireman wowed listeners when he came onto the scene, featured on tracks such as Calvin Harris’ Blame and the 2012 smash hit – Rudimental Feel the Love. Newman quickly became a well known name – loved for his smooth vocals, reminiscent of the soul missing by artists of this generation. He followed up with his debut album in 2013, and the greatly anticipated second album to build on the soul-filled foundation has finally arrived.
For me, it is a must when listening to music to have a real feel good factor. We all know John Newman isn’t a gangster rapper – so the sweet sensation of a summers day after listening to Newman is a great feeling. His sweet, smooth vocals remain a staple of John Newman’s music, so you know what to expect in terms of the vocals before you even start listening.
The first track Revolve features Idris Elba, one of the UK’s hottest actors – a well-picked feature I must admit. Elba gives a powerful speech, and you can’t help but expect the album to be rather epic from its powerful introduction. The smoky, soulful vocals are dropped in after the intro speech, in the usual John Newman sound – you’d be hard pressed to realise he’s a Yorkshireman and not from Tennessee.
Track after track on Revolve, Newman seals the deal with his combination of retro-soulful vocals, horns, trumpets and catchy dance floor synths – all to create his trademark sound. The first few tracks on the album flow into each other perfectly form All My Heart into Something Special and Lights Down. Newman prepares the listener for his recent hit Come and Get It, by providing a series of trademark Newman tunes – all with their features in balance. The well known hit perks you up, as you’re unable to stop yourself from singing along (regardless of who’s around) immersed in the uptempo feel-good vibe created.
Never give it up has more of the raw soul you expect from the retro-soul artist, as you feel the album building up once again; following more closely to the promises of Idris Elba in the opening track of the album. Later tracks like Give you my love provide a refreshing change to the albums tone and tempo. The change of beat style is simple, yet effective as you feel his passion straight through the speakers – the guitar riff is paired perfectly with his callout for love; with the focus largely on the vocals.
We All Get Lonely finishes off the album as a tribute to himself – reflecting the albums title Revolve. The album goes full circle, singing about love, on an uptempo beat with soulful, smooth vocals clearly on display. And don’t forget the John Newman signature..the funking trumpet.
Overall an impressive follow up from his 2013 album debut, which gives more than his latest hits with a few fillers. I don’t think it will go down as his best album, but John Newman is certainly one to watch – a refreshing change to today’s soulless music.
Rating: 7½ /10