Artist:  Big Life
   Title: Big Life
   Label: AOR Heaven

Whenever the name of Steve Newman appears on an album the Melodic and Hard Fans take notice, so it should be this band has a Midas touch as Steve's got together with ex-Praying Mantis frontman Mark Thompson-Smith for their latest project Big Life.  Straight away you know this is going to be something rather special and then when you throw in Rob McEwan (who has drummed on the last three Newman albums), the trio have produced a quintessential British Melodic Rock album.

The album gets underway with ‘Dying Day’ and from the off this is a different animal to the Newman material.  A little more edgy with Thompson-Smith sounding powerful, but it’s the guitar work of Newman that really shines out on not just the opener, but throughout the whole album.  There’s a little more grind and an intensity that I think really works on this album.  Yes the melody is still there in spades, but Newman is given free rein to really show he can throw out the big licks like the best of them.

The album continues to impress with the excellent ‘Close To You’ and the dark edged mid tempoed ‘Better Man’, the latter being the first single off the album.  Another of my favourites off the album has to be the harder edged ‘I’ll Still Be There’, again it's Newman punchy guitars that are a real joy to hear and Thompson-Smith is on the money as he mixes power and grace in equal proportions throughout this song.

The tempo is brought back up with the excellent hard rock of ‘Feel Alive’, before it's back to ballads with the cream of the crop the stunning ‘Deep Water’, where we hear Thompson-Smith's finest vocal on the album so far.

The pair put a spin on things with the next track, the modern rocker ‘At The End Of The Rainbow’.  A real gem, then it's time for another great vocal from Thompson-Smith on another the gentle melodic tones of ‘Leaves’. 

The gentle vibe is continued with ‘Stop In Time’ before the peace is shattered with the groove filled rocker ‘Takin’ Me Down’.  The albums closes with ‘Nothing Without You’, which wraps up a great album that will appeal not just to fans of Newman, but also fans of good British rock music.  This album is sure to tick many of the boxes for the die-hard Melodic Rock fans out there.  Let's hope this the start of something big for the band.

Tracklisting:

1. Dying Day
2. Close To You
3. Better Man
4. Calling
5. I'll Still Be Here
6. Feel Alive
7. Deep Water
8. At The End Of My Rainbow
9. Leaves
10. Stop In Time
11. Takin' Me Down
12. Nothing Without You

                   

 

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