“This is my tribute, this is my gift back to the music world and it’s going to be huge.” – That is the message that emulates from the vocals and sounds from both singles “Love Me Again” and “Cheating” released by John Newman.
Coming from his début studio album ‘Tribute’ which hit stores in Australia on October 11, it radiates a quality that is only harnessed when a musician is truly passionate about the music they create.
Even by listening to the lyrics alone you can hear how John has captured emotion after emotion and transferred those into songs. There’s catchy tunes, songs you can belt your heart and lungs out to and songs that are going to make you want to cry.
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Opening with “Tribute”, John names some of his influences such as Ray Charles, Elvis, Ike and Tina Turner, Rolling Stones and James Brown, then the music slides into a string ensemble.
It’s a little different for an album opener but it sets the tone for the rest of the music. I think John was smart in how he composed this song, as “Tribute” is dedicated to every artist that ever inspired him, and now he’s giving something back to them. “It’s all for you, it’s all for you, for what you have made me, you’re how I grew.“
Next on the list is the smash hit “Love Me Again”, depicted in visuals as a Romeo and Juliet scene. “I had a clear image in my head. I wanted to make a Romeo and Juliet video and also from growing up in the Northern Soul surrounds that my family brought me up on, I really wanted to include that as well.” John said whilst talking about his inspiration for the track and music video.
The element that really sells ‘Tribute’ as a whole is that each song compliments one another. “Losing Sleep” has drum-beats and a touch of swing, which is then reflected into “Easy”, with powered vocals and a simple beat. “Try” will get you dancing, clapping, tapping your feet on the floor and swaying with the beat, whilst “Out Of My Head” is a song to listen to when you’re feeling a little down and need a song to reflect your emotions. However, “Cheating”, “Running” and my personal favourite “Gold Dust” resumes the upbeat tempo and jive-inducing beats.
‘Tribute’ is then cleverly ended with a song entitled “All I Need Is You”. The opening piano really sets the feel for the song and carries John’s lyrics with it, a perfect addition to the very Motown feel he was going for. It’s a song you’re going to want to belt your best voice out to, so turn it up and enjoy.
Review: Purchase the album, turn your stereo up, sing with and appreciate John Newman’s brilliant voice – you’ll feel happier. Rating: 4.5/5
Our interview with John Newman can be found here.
You can buy John’s new album ‘Tribute’ from iTunes here.