John Newman: ‘Tribute’

Swept away by the mania of revision and maths assignments, I haven’t been here for a while. This place is a little dusty… But wowee, this is my 150th post!

I shall therefore revive my blog with an out of the blue review of a firecracker of an album by a certain baby-faced Mr John Newman. Thank me later.


“When it’s silent I think too much. I realise now that I like the sound of sitting on hills, listening to the wind and the birds. We should all listen to that more because when you really listen, you don’t feel alone anymore…”

Me? Mainstream!? No way! But John Newman offers a certain spark which restores my faith in today’s popular music scene, overcrowded by a sudden tsunami of otherwise average, young solo artists. This 23-year-old emerges out of the murky waters of his troublesome past, instead choosing to focus on life’s greatest remedy: music. Out pops John’s debut release, ‘Tribute‘, which blends a myriad of musical influences into a neat little package: there are strings, soul, his mother’s 70’s vinyls, house, jazzy hip-hop (…I don’t know; just pretend it exists!) and – to top it all off – there’s power. You must have heard ‘Love Me Again’ by now, surely! So you know what I’m talking about.

Admittedly, at times, ‘Tribute‘ could do with a few more highlights. Don’t get me wrong: it is a very pleasurable collection of tracks to listen to after a busy Thursday afternoon to power you up to push through that last, remaining day of the week we call Friday, but I currently can’t pick out a particular song that would destroy the charts like ‘Love Me Again’ did. I would personally urge you to give ‘Cheating’ a go if your dancing shoes are in sight! Also, ‘Easy has potential: it sprinkles sadness from the heart, it has a catchy piano dwongle, it has a…something. Wouldn’t bet on it to sweep the charts, but then again most good music doesn’t… sadly.

Mr Newman has potential. I’d big up on the trumpets and expand the string section! And IMAGINE the power ballad lovechild that would be born out of a collaboration with Emeli Sande! Big things to come from this man.