Stuart Newman- Single but Defective
Posted by Alice Mary on Mon, 27 Feb 2012.
Brighton-based musician Stuart Newman uses a mixture of indie, rock and mellow acoustic music to produce heartfelt and pessimistic emotion in his songs. Recent contact with him ended up with me having a free download of his CD to review, I must say I was rather taken back by the unique sound he creates with experimenting with different pitches in his voice and acoustic style. Here's what I thought to the album.
Kicking off the album is '51st state', a mellow, slow paced song that creates a negative yet relaxing mood. Stuart's voice here is very whispery and quiet which creates a better effect and matches the slow rhythm of his guitar.
'Cry wolf' is a little upbeat and has a quicker pace along with the same whispery vocals, it creates a positive mood and I enjoyed the rhythm and repetitive tune of the guitar, a song that got stuck in my head quite easily, much prefer this.
Third song 'oil' had a repetitive and ongoing tune that was a little too much for my liking, I think this was the song that put me off a little as I didn't really think it added anything to the album, the lack of vocals were possibly the main reason that this song didn't grab my attention. I think if the song started off with the same sound and then went on to something different with vocals, it could easily be improved.
'Oscar' grabbed my attention straight away with a gentle and truly gorgeous guitar tune, the lyrics in this song simply pulled at my heartstrings. Stuart's voice matched the same saddened emotion that the slow paced rhythm of the guitar does, which makes this song definitely stand out to me.
'If you say' had a louder and quicker start which was a nice change to the previous, softer songs. Stuart's voice naturally holds a lovely amount of emotion to it which is lovely to listen to, there is almost a relaxing effect that his voice has on the listener, especially when it's used brilliantly along with a slow paced guitar in the background like it does in this song.
'On sabbatical' had an interesting start to say the least with the different approach on having higher vocals and an unusual repetitive guitar strumming. The vocals were difficult to work out but that didn't really take the strange yet addictive sound of the whole song. Definitely an odd one, but not bad.
'Gotta work' had a lovely guitar intro that quickly leads into parts of vocals split up between the nicely repetitive, upbeat and catchy strumming of the guitar. The repetitive lyrics of 'gotta work' seem to work pretty well in the song, overall an alright song.
A-Negative' leads back into the slow paced and almost depressing sound of dreary, slow vocals and the background sound of sleeping and a guitar rhythm that almost seems lost in the negative effect the vocals have on the listener, eventually the song slowly getting quieter until the song fades out to an end. Definitely a song that you'd listen to when in a low mood, but a one that has quite a bit of emotion to it.
'Summer messin' is a song that you can easily tap your foot along to, it's a nicely paced song that has a good vibe to it, the rhythm is extremely catchy and puts you in a quite positive mood, I loved the sound of Stuarts voice in this, it's quite quick which matches perfectly to the rhythm of the rest of the song. Possibly my favourite song so far.
'High and mighty' is quick and fast paced with unusually high vocals, it's almost difficult to keep up with but the lyrics totally have that kind of 'I don't care' effect to them which in my opinion is brilliant. It's catchy and the kind of song you'd listen to when you're fed up and want a song that you can relate to.
'Atmosphere' is what it says on the tin. It's a instrumental devoted to creating an almost eerie atmosphere that is simple yet nice to listen to, it gives a break from the fast paced or unusual sound that the rest of the songs have, without being too repetitive. I liked this song just because of its simple, relaxing sound.
'I hate you', an extremely pessimistic song starts off with a quick strumming and almost lonely vocals that get quicker and quicker, it's a bit of a rush in my mind but still has an alright sound to it.
Final song 'Release' is a nice ending to the album, it mixes once again the gorgeous vocals with a simple strumming that gets quicker. The vocals overlap which creates an almost chaotic effect that is a little interesting to listen to. It's a nice song to end on and does the album justice.
Overall I quite like Stuart, he's a talented vocalist and guitarist who doesn't get the attention he deserves, and despite the pessimistic effect his music has, it's the sort of music you can easily sit back and relax to. His songs are catchy, relaxing and have a good dose of emotion to them.
You can listen to Stuarts music here, also with free downloads!
Photograph by Scott Mains