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This will most likely be a pretty lengthy review as it is a 16 track album and I'm doing mini reviews of all the songs.
Newton Faulkner is a British singer - songwriter and this (Hand Built by Robots) is his debut album.... and a bloody good one at that.
This album got to number 1 on the 26th August 2007, its fourth week in the charts. It's definitely a moods album - meaning there's a song for every mood. It's a very easy listening album. I'm the type of person that will skip a song halfway through but I find it so easy to just leave this album on playing in the background or singing along to all the tracks. Either way, it's awesome.
The track listing is as follows;
(All tracks written by Newton Faulkner, unless stated otherwise.)
1."Intro" - 0:34
2."To the Light" - 2:40
3."I Need Something" - 2.57
4."All I Got" (Newton Faulkner/Crispin Hunt) - 3.21
5."Dream Catch Me" (Crispin Hunt/Newton Faulkner/Gordon Mills) - 3.56
6."Feels Like Home" - 3:12
7."Teardrop" (Originally by Massive Attack: Robert Del Naja/Grantley Marshall/Andrew Vowles/Elizabeth Fraser) - 3:09
8."Gone in the Morning" (Newton Faulkner/Toby Faulkner) - 2:21
9."Sitar-y Thing" - 1:19
10."Uncomfortably Slow" (Newton Faulkner/Adam Argyle) - 3:28
11."Straight Towards the Sun" (Newton Faulkner/Crispin Hunt) - 3:39
12."People Should Smile More" (Newton Faulkner/Adam Argyle/Crispin Hunt) - 3:29
13."She's Got the Time" (Newton Faulkner/Toby Faulkner) - 1:20
14."U.F.O" (Newton Faulkner/Toby Faulkner) - 2:36
15."Face (Her)" - 0:39
16."Ageing Superhero" - 3:22
17."Lullaby" - 1:37
Now, to give a little breakdown of tracks and what I think of them....
The intro is just a little short track which basically just shows off what exactly Newton can do with a guitar. I'd love to say its arrogant or whatever but it's not. It's simply a catchy little intro that runs perfectly into the second track.
To the light - starts off really bouncy and fun. This is such a happy song. Makes you want to dance! Newton's voice sounds fantastic in this song. My favourite little bit goes, " You could have everything you wanted, but you would be still be wanting more, cause the sun is always in your eyes." I love to sing along to this one.
I need something - starts with a brilliant fast little riff then slows down a little for the first verse. Newton sings fairly softly in the verses then really sings out for the bridge and the chorus. This is a pretty catchy song. My favourite part is the first few lines which go, "I need something, to believe in, because I don't believe in myself. I'm sick and tired, of getting nowhere, guess it'll all work out." I love that part because it sounds just like something I'd say. This is my favourite track on the album.
All I got - one of the slower tracks I think, but still really catchy. Newton's voice again, excels in this song when he really sings out. My 2 favourite bits of this one go, "Everywhere I look, everything is looking so good, and everyone is you" and "I hope that you find it, if freedom is all that you want. I can see a silver lining. I'll be here time after time, time after time after all." It's a really sweet song and again, ace to sing along to.
Dream catch me - most people already know this song, or will have heard it. It's a very summery song. The kind you listen to while driving around the countryside with the windows open on a really sunny afternoon. You get the idea. I adore the chorus to this song. "There's a place I go, when I'm alone. Do anything I want. Be anyone I wanna be. But it is us I see..."
Feels like home - a great chill out song. Another one of the slower songs on the album. It's a barbecue song. If you don't understand what I mean, listen to it. You'll understand. "When things don't feel right, and you know deep inside, it breaks your heart but you must get out. And I know you're gonna be alright. And I hope you find your way and I hope your future's bright."
Teardrop - originally by massive attack. Seriously... everyone prefers Newton's cover, whether they admit it or not. It was a brilliant song when Massive Attack did it, don't get me wrong. But everybody loves an acoustic cover. Even when it's not by the same artist. He executes it perfectly, and again his voice is beautiful. Obviously the best part of this song is the opening line, Love. Love is a verb. Love is a doing word." All the little drum sounds and thuds and stuff are done by Newton on his guitar. He does this crazy thing where he uses his wrist and his thumb to kind of, bang on his guitar while he's playing. Very cool stuff. Clever little man.
Gone in the morning - Newton sings really weirdly in the verses in this one. (In a good way of course!) It's like he sings really quickly and quietly so it's as if he's almost speaking rather than singing. In the first chorus he sings it quietly and calmly, but on the second chorus he REALLY sings and sounds amazing. My favourite bit is in the second verse where he goes, "I'm gonna master all things of kung fu. I'm gonna live inside a tiny zoo. I'm gonna grow myself a giant afro (incredible), when the alarm goes off I just won't go." Sounds a bit odd I know, but it's really funny to hear him sing it.
Sitar-y thing - is basically Newton showing off again. Playing guitar and sitar. It's just like a little track between tracks with no lyrics. Very cool though.
Uncomfortably slow - another slow song. It's quite sad actually. The way he sings it makes it sound as if he's really depressed or something. It made me feel a bit sad when I first heard it. The chorus is the bit that gets me. "Don't take my photograph. I don't want to know how it looks to feel like this. As cars and people pass. It feels like standing still but I know I'm just moving uncomfortably slow." See! Sad!
Straight towards the sun - another pretty sad song. It's a piano and acoustic guitar song. It's lovely to listen to, if you're not already feeling down. Lol. He sings it beautifully. The piano and the guitar bits are really quiet so you can really hear his voice. "All I feel, Crawls across my skin. Breaking through. Slowly sinking in. And I can't find what you're looking for. Nothing's left, nothing's left at all"
People should smile more - this song really brings the happy feel of the album back. It's a really good song, I think, because at the start it's saying, be happy with what you've got. And just get on with it. This is how I'd like to see life one day. My favourite bit is the chorus and it goes, "I can't change the world, cause trying to make a difference makes it worse. It's just an observation I can't ignore, but people should smile more."
She's got the time - this is quite a silly little song. But extremely catchy and really fun to sing to and listen to. It's about meeting a girl and wanting to talk to her but she's having none of it, basically. My favourite bit goes, "Chewing on my food. On the floor. At the station. Guess a BK's ok. Try to be friendly. I say 'Yo. Do you want a Haribo?' she says 'No'. She's got the time but she don't wanna give it to me." It's quite sweet and funny. Definitely one of my favourites on the album. Brilliant.
UFO - this song states that he's seen a UFO. Or he's convinced that he has. And at the end of the song he just wants to be friends with the aliens. The song ends with the words "UFO if you want to take the time to say Hello. I'll be waiting in a field to say UFO. If you want to take the time to say Hello I'll be waiting in line. UFO if you want to take the time to say Hello I just wanna say hi." It's a really catchy tune, the guitar is great. Stays pretty quiet through the verses then kicks in for the chorus.
Ageing superhero - it's a fairly down-tempo song but not too slow. It's quite quiet and Newton's voice sounds lovely as usual. My favourite part of this song goes "Time is running out and I just want to say I'm sorry now. Before I'm all alone again, and I'm broken and cold. The ageing superhero in me is tired." I'm not entirely sure what to make of this song. I like it, I just don't really get it. It's a good song to listen to though.
Lullaby - just a nice quiet little piano based song to finish off the album. It's extremely short and sweet so I'll type out all the lyrics to it. "Close your eyes. Get some sleep. It's too late now. Tp change anything. But it's alright. Get some sleep. It's so dark outside. So close your eyes. And feel the world turn round. If you're not lost, I guess that makes you found." It's cute, and a good way to end the album.
I'd recommend everybody buy this album. Whatever your music taste. He's a truly talented musician, there's no denying it.
This album can be found just about everywhere that sells CDs I think. Supermarkets, HMV, online.
On the HMV website it says the RRP is £11.99, but they are currently selling it at just £3. So if you don't have this album already, there's no excuse now, is there?
Newton Faulkner is an amazing artist and if you buy this album you will recognise at least one track from a television advert.
The album currently costs around £4.00 to buy, I'm not sure about download cost, but you do get 17 tracks for that, which is a lot more than most albums.
His style of music is quite folky and a little bit weird. Some of his songs are extremely meaningful and some are just a bit of fun.
This whole album is great, all the tracks are brilliant. It is very easy to listen to. He is a very quirky character and that really comes through in his lyrics. For example there is a song about being abducted by aliens and one where he talks about the crazy dreams he has while he is asleep.
All of the songs are very different but each one has something great about it.
Newton's voice is extremely distinctive, and once you have heard just one song you will love it. He is so unique in not only his lyrics but the song style.
My favourite song on this album has to be "People should smile more" it's such a great sentiment in the song but still has a catchy melody to it.
None of the songs are particularly up beat on this album, but I quite like that. They aren't dance tracks, but you will still sing along with them.
I would recommend this album to anyone, it's a brilliant album, and every single song is worth listening to. Some will really make you laugh when you do, and some will just make you smile.
I could imagine this album performed live would be brilliant.
If you want to see a clip of Newton Faulkner, look him up on youtube singing the spongebob squarepants theme tune. It's amazing, so funny.
A great album.
I did not think I would like this album. I have no idea what the basis for my prejudice was (perhaps the dreads/ unwashed/ Levellers look that Newtown Faulkner was going for did it for me and I am a snob) but maybe it was the seemingly balnd music and comparisons to James Morrison and Paolo Nutini, both of whom I do not like. However, when uploading some of my sister in laws music I thought I should put my doubts to one side and just listen to the music. Well, some it is was good, some not so good.
You may know from my previous reviews that I have a soft spot for Jack Johnson. Well Faulkner is slightly similar to Johnson, but in a more British way. He does not come across all surfer, but he is definitely laid back, acoustic and chilled out. The music has some small similarities, definitely the laid back vibe, but for me Faulkner comes across as a much more accomplished and talented musician, although he does not produce better music and albums. Strange...
Hand Built by Robots is Faulkner's debut and introduces us to his laid back smooth soft rock. There are a few profound songs and the variety (and value for money due to a lot of tracks) is impressive. Faulkner's spectacular guitar solo intro first track blends perfectly and leads into the first of many feel good numbers "To The Light". An impressive start. Can he keep it going?
Yes. Well, to a degree anyway. "Dream Catch Me" opens with a dark and nasty bassline, more reminiscent of UK garage/ grime than acoustic/ soft rock. Not exactly what you were expecting. It is not so much soft rock, as a more indie inspried track. The brilliant riffs, contagious melodies and rocket-fuelled pace make this an obvious high point of the entire album.
But in my opinion the high point is a cover. Not very original you may think, but Faulkner's take on the wonderful Massive Attack "Teardrop" is inspired, different without taking it apart. Impressive still.
Another good track of the album is "Uncomfortably Slow", but this is probably the problem with the album. There are a small number of good tunes snuggled in beside some blandness. Which is disappointing, as I do really like the tracks mentioned above, they are very listenable. I cannot seem to put my finger on where it goes wrong.
There is no denying Faulkner's talent: there is some exquisitely delicate guitar playing here, particularly in the opening moments of "I Need Something", plus an impressive display of the instrument's percussive capabilities. It just left me confused.
2. "To the Light"
3. "I Need Something"
4. "All I Got"
5. "Dream Catch Me"
6. "Feels Like Home"
8. "Gone in the Morning"
9. "Sitar-y Thing"
10. "Uncomfortably Slow"
11. "Straight Towards the Sun"
12. "People Should Smile More"
13. "She's Got the Time"
15. "Face (Her)"
16. "Ageing Superhero"
18. "Full Fat"
19. "Dream Catch Me"
Hand Built by Robots is the debut album (I think) from the dreadlocked, laid back, musical hippy that is Newton Faulkner. I absolutely love him!
This album is a favourite of mine, delivering soulful tunes with very catchy melodies. Some tracks are cheerful and witty, while others are sad and reflective. There are also those in between, which are just epic.
An example of the former is She Got the Time, the little interlude piece where Newton just takes the piss with his own wooing skills. ("Chewing on my food on the floor at the station guess a BK's OK try to be
friendly I say Yo do you want a haribo she says no"). Others include UFO and that one where he talks about growing an afro.
These songs are delivered with wit and style, bringing a smile to your face in the most downer of days.
Then there are the other ones. Newton has definately some period for reflection in his life, and songs such as Straight Towards the Sun and Uncomfortably Slow show this. You really do emphasise with him, and I know that there are times in my life that I felt like that.
Teardrop, I Need Something and Dream Catch Me are absolute jewels. Sure, Teardrop is a Massive Attack song that has been covered a million times, but Newton adds his little personal touches (flamenco-y drumming on guitar) to make it stand out.
All in all, a great album, a definate must have for those into the genre, and also those that aren't.
Newton Faulkner is the latest cool dude surfer guy who actually hails from the south of England rather than the Californian Coast and his soulful album promised a lot on the basis of a couple of tracks that I had heard however over the length of the entire album it failed to live up to my expectations and in the end I was left wishing I had just downloaded about a third of the tracks on it and not bothered with the rest.
I Need Something is one of the better tracks on the album and it has a delightful melody and some catchy lyrics as well. The vocals are well delivered with some nice chages of pitch. Ths is followed by All I Got which is another enjoyable track with some cool guitar playing and a nice acoustic feel to it.
The other stand out track for me is called Dream Catch Me which has some hauntingly good lyrics and a simple structure to the song that really works well.
These are good songs however they are sandwiched between some very poor fair, in fact the opening couple of tracks are rather weak in my opinion which is unusual because normally it is the stronger stuff at the beginning and then you have the rather poor Gone in the Morning which just left me cold and then a rather pointless instrumental filler which adds nothing to the album. In fact there are too many fillers and not enough quality in this album.
As an artist he shows some promise but needs to raise the level somewhat to ensure that he can maintain a career based upon the quality of his music as I will want to listen to the entire album before consideing to buy his next offerring.
I expect by now, at least 80% of the population have heard of Newton Faulkner, haven't they? Handmade guitar, surfydude with dreadlocks, deep soulful voice? No? Well let me enlighten you! He is a 23 years old (at the time of writing), singer/ songwriter from Surrey. His gorgeous rendition of Massive Attacks Teardrops (which I personally think is brilliant - not as good as the original granted, but still hauntingly beautiful just the same), is mainly responsible for bringing him into the public ear. For me, his track Dream Catch Me was what really drew me to finding more about him, perfectly melodic, romantic, and inspiring - and I soon downloaded his music. His tracks make me think of sitting around a (safely controlled) fire on a Cornish beach, toasting marshmallows and listening to the waves gently lap on the shore, - I digress, here's my review of the album!
'''Intro - 0.37'''
Nice, short guitar piece. Filler. Very short filler, you do kind of wonder why?
'''To the light - 2.39'''
Didn't sound like him to begin with! Speaks really fast on the verse, sounds a little like something I've heard before by a different artist from the 80's. I will update when I remeber who, or please let me know if you know what the heck I'm rambling about. Not one of my favourites, but it's listenable. Although I do prefer to skip!
"Feel like a puppet with a drunken puppeteer, but I'll survive"
'''I Need Something - 2.57'''
This quickly became one of my favourites. I imagine he wrote this before being signed up, he sings about not believing in himself and his struggle to get anywhere. Very melodic & catchy, you can also hear him really use his voice in this track, hitting a few high notes and holding his notes. Not long enough in my opinion, I usually have to repeat!
"I'm scared of failure, so scared of success, guess it'll all work out"
'''All I got - 4.67'''
Catchy. My word of the day! Nice acoustic intro. I do like this, but it's not usually one I skip back to hear again, I think he sounds a little bit nasal in parts. The lyrics again are good, I didn't realise just how good until I really listened to it for this review. Sounds like he's singing to his other half about not rushing in, taking a step back and relaxing so he doesn't mess up again.
"I hope that you find it, if freedom is all that you want. I can see a silver lining; I'll be here time after time"
'''Dream Catch Me - 3.57'''
Stunning. One of the best handwritten songs by any singer/songwriter in the last few years (in my humble opinion!) Okay, so I'm an old romantic, but this is just beautiful. I'm not scared of admitting my love for the more 'common' track- which this one could be classed as, as it's his first one he wrote and recorded that many will recognise. Catchy lyrics, catchy tune, not slow enough to be morose, but lovely enough to be romantic. The emotion in his voice is perfect. I don't think this is actually written with a 'significant other' in mind, but more about his ambitions and dreams.
"See you as a mountain, a fountain, a God, see you as a descant soul in the setting sun, you as the sound, as the silence, as love. I'm yours."
'''Feels Like Home - 3.11'''
Nice, but I wouldn't miss it if it wasn't on the album.
"It feels like home, and it knocks me out, to know it feels like home & I broke out"
'''Teardrop - 3.11'''
Magic. Can't give him full marks though as he didn't write it, but he sings it perfectly. Accompanied just with his guitar and some little bongo drums or something, his voice is strong and soulful. I could listen to this a dozen times over. I don't really get the lyrics, but they sound poetic and beautiful. Actually, please don't give me a VU for saying this, but I've just decided I prefer it to Massive Attacks version. Sorry.
"Love, love isn't fair, love is a doing word, fearless on my breath."
'''Gone in the Morning - 2.21'''
Gets a bit of a funny voice for the verse of this track. Okay it's a fun little song and the chorus is nice. I don't really know what he's singing about, maybe the weird dream he had that night and why they have to go? For some reason I do like it and can't help signing along!
"I'm gonna master all kinds of kung foo, I'm gonna live inside a tiny zoo, I'm gonna grow myself a giant afro, when the alarm goes off I just won't go."
'''Sitar-Y track - 1.19'''
Pretty but a bit repetitive piece of instrumental filler. If it wasn't so short I'd skip it.
'''Uncomfortably slow - 3:30'''
Sad voice, poignant lyrics. This is probably the second most saddest & slowest song on the album and gives me the feeling of loneliness. Beautiful.
"So don't take my photograph, 'cos I don't want to know how it looks to feel like this. "
'''Straight Towards the Sun - 3.38'''
Right, this IS the saddest & slowest song on the album! Another emotional feeling track
"Nothing ventured, nothing gained, feels like the world has gone insane, we are heading straight towards the sun"
'''People Should Smile More - 3.31'''
By god he's right! Bit of light hearted lyrics about some of the 'wrongs' that happen in the world and how it could be so easily rectified by smiling more. Nice to have a bit more light and upbeat tune after the last two tracks.
'''She's Got The Time - 1.21'''
Quick little interlude, a bit 'bluesy'. I imagine him sat on a wooden porch of a little shack with a couple of friends and a harmonica. No harmonica in it though, bit of a problem in my interpretation there.
"She's got a dime but she don't wanna give it to me"
'''U.F.O - 2.35'''
About a UFO. Funny little line about anal probes and the sitar makes a comeback. That's about it really.
'''Face (Her) - .42'''
Another short instrumental interlude. Melodic, but I couldn't tell one of these interludes from the other. It's probably taken you longer to read this than the track lasts.
'''Aging Super Hero - 3.20'''
Soft, warm, fuzzy. Not at all what I'd imagined from the title. He signs about how he feels so old and broken and alone, although he isn't. Not the most inspiring song, but okay.
The aging super hero in me is tired, 'cos he's lived too fast for too long, and he still longs to be inspired."
'''Lullaby - 1.39'''
Slow, short, gorgeous. For some reason this really strikes a chord with me. Slow piano intro & soft dreamy voice, it really is like a lullaby except it leaves me wanting more and I can't decide if I should feel sad or happy.
"Close your eyes. Get some sleep. It's too late now, to change anything, but it's okay, get some sleep. It's so dark outside, so close your eyes and feel the world turn round. If you're not lost, I guess that makes you found."
'''Overal Score - 7.5/10'''
=== More useful Info ===
Handbuilt by Robots was released in 2007 by the label Ugly Truth. I downloaded mine from Orange and received tracks 1-17, but have since found out that if you download from i-tunes you get three additional tracks, Full Fat, Dream Catch Me (acoustic) and Teardrop (acoustic). Not having any form of i-pod I've lucked out on that one! There is now another Deluxe album released September 2008, which has an extra track - Alone Again, unfortunately I haven't heard it. The album is classed as rock, although I personally think this is a bit misleading. Although it's not as 'pop' as most tracks in the chart at the moment, I would still class it as easy listening, pop, maybe with a rhythmic rock overtone. I suppose that description is a little long winded!
=== Personal Opinion ===
As you may have guessed, I love it. All tracks sound almost acoustic, uncomplicated because of the lack of technical interference. I do find the little interludes a bit annoying as they are so samey and I don't really get the point. I appreciate Newton plays the guitar well himself, but I would still rather hear a full length instrumental piece. His lyrics are beautiful and thought provoking. He doesn't feel need to swear or doctor syllables to make words rhyme. He doesn't offend anyone or use his lyrics to preach. More importantly, most of his songs actually make sense and I can understand every word! After reading his biography it seems he is very popular with people from the South West - shock - that's where I'm from! I find this album very easy to listen to, over and over. And over. I thought I'd try and get an unbiased view from my hubby who has quite a varied taste in music (Guns n Roses to electro pop) and he says, I quote "s'alright, nice I suppose." Praise indeed!
Thankyou for reading! Nicky.
Hand Built By Robots is the debut album from singer songwriter Newton Faulkner, recognisable by his ginger dreadlocks and goatee beard, but also by his sound.
It is like nothing you've heard before, he gets sounds out of an acoustic guitar that i didn't think were possible, and has a voice that would suit to most genres.
His song writing is incredible, from songs about waking up in the middle of a dream to one he wrote whilst waiting for a train with his brother.
From start to finish this album is full of catchy and addictive tunes and brilliant lyrics.
My favourite tracks on this album are - gone in the morning and she's got the time, which i mentioned above.
If you get the chance to see him live, DO IT!!!
If not, get on youtube and search for him, i would recommend watching his cover of bohemian rhapsody (just him and one guitar) and a song he does the end of his gigs, spongebob squarepants!!!
On first listen, this album sounded like an acoustic pop record. However, when I found myself listening more and more, I realised there was far more to it.
This album is full of great tracks, whether you just want catchy acoustic pop songs such as "Dream Catch Me" or the complex "fingerstyle" guitar of songs such as "Feels Like Home". The great thing is, even these complicated songs are so easy to listen to.
These songs are relaxing and clever, both lyrically and musically. It IS an album rather than a collection of songs. There is an intro, a small musical interlude in the middle ["Sitar-Y Thing"] and a clear outro, in the form of the song "Lullaby".
If you're a guitarist, or a musician of any kind, you can appreciate this album even more. But even better, if you just like listening to songs, this is still brilliant!
I'd always recommend this album to anyone!
Newton Faulkner is an English artist who specialises in vocals and playing the guitar. He is best known for his dreaklocked hair and distinctive style. According to Wikipedia, his main influences come from the likes of Eric Roche, Tom Waits, Jurassic 5, Massive Attack, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, James Brown,Prince, Mr Hudson, Green Day, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Primus and Led Zeppelin. His debut album Handbuilt by Robots was released on the 30th July 2007 and rocketed to no 1 in the UK album charts, remaining there for 2 consecutive weeks.
When my friend leant me this CD months ago, I had never heard of the guy. I was doing some revision so thought I'd play the album in full at the same time as working.
The first thing that struck me was how many genres this CD could fit in to - rock / soft rock / pop / folk / indie / blues / accoustic - it really seems to have something for everyone!
It is a really relaxing, soothing CD with great songs to play whilst revising! It officially became the soundtrack to my revision!
The lyrics are pronounced with good diction so it is easy to sing along and also the songs make sense! You get the story he is trying to tell with his words, sometimes they are really humourous lyrics, sometimes loving etc.
I love this album, great songs all in their own special way, try it for yourself.
1. ) Intro
2. ) To The Light
3. ) I Need Something
4. ) All I Got
5. ) Dream Catch Me
6. ) Feels Like Home
7. ) Teardrop
8. ) Gone In The Morning
9. ) Sitar-y Thing
10. ) Uncomfortably Slow
11. ) Straight Towards The Sun
12. ) People Should Smile More
13. ) She's Got The Time
14. ) UFO
15. ) Face (Her)
16. ) Aging Superhero
17. ) Lullaby
Full fat has humorous lyrics, whereas uncomfortably slow is soothing and the lyrics are more passionate. UFO is my fave track on this album, because of its catchy tune, I find my self humming it all day!
Thanks for reading, ratings and comments - much appreciated :)
Hand Built By Robots is Newton Faulkner's debut album. He smashed onto the commercial music scene in 2007 with his hit Dream Catch Me, and the album was just as successful. He is one of a breed of singer songwriters we have seen emerge over the past five years or so inculding James Blunt, James Morrison and Paolo Nutini that seem to have the edge when it comes to writing music.
If you've heard Faulkner's music, then you'll know he is a balladier, with his husky and powerful voice and his loing ginger dreadlocks making him instantly recognisable. The album doesn;t have a lot of variety about it, I have to say, but that does not mean that he is a one-trick pony. Faulkner's music is high in quality. The predominant sounds on the album are his guitar and voice, but the backing music lends itself well to the music, and it is obviously a well thought out album. A decent mix of sounds, but all along the same lines has meant that this is a successful album. I particularly like his version of Teardrop. I am a Massive Attack fan, and was hesitant when I heard this at first, but he has iven the words to the song new gravitas, and I admire this. It takes guts to amend such a hugely popular track in such a way. Lyrically, he does well in the album, and I particularly like Ageing Superhero.
In conclusion, this is a very good debut album, commecially sound but perhaps lacking a bit in variety. Faulkner is not a one-trick pony, I'm sure he's just getting established first before letting loose on his vibe.
2. Into The Light
3. I Need Something
4. All I Got
5. Dream Catch Me
6. Feels Like Home
8. Gone In The Morning
9. Sitar-y Things
10. Uncomfortably Slow
11. Straight Towards The Sun
12. People Should Smile More
13. She's Got The Time
15. Face (Her)
16. Ageing Superhero
Newton Faulkner may be widely known for his unique ginger dreadlocks but Faulkner is one of the biggest singer songwriters to emerge onto the scene in 2007 with his number 1 album "Hand Built By Robots".
Although the singer songwriter genre is now a regular feature of the music world, and not exactly original, Newton brings a new style to the acoustic sound with Percussive use of his guitar, in a truly unique way. An example of this is in his cover of Massive Attacks "Teardrop", which shows it's not exactly original but somehow different and unique with his acoustic slant to the song in contrast to the dance genre that the song was originally recorded as.
With some of his first musical experiences including playing bass in a Green Day cover band Newton has come far since. In the few years since he started working as Newton Faulkner rather than Sam Battenberg Faulkner, two EP's have been released, but his rise too fame had to be with the amazing new album "Hand Built By Robots". Publicity on radio stations such as radio one, soon caused his album to reach number one, and earned him a nomination for the 2008 Brit Awards.
The first few songs aren't instantly appealing but with this album the songs grow on you through time and I guarantee you'll have the album playing over and over.
Although a percentage of the album is mellow, songs such as "Ufo" bring an upbeat melody to the album with fast beats and uplifting melodies.
The album is full of meaningful lyrics such as 'People Should Smile More'. Just some of the many topics he covers in this album, include war, poverty, love plus many more.
Although the lyrics are very simple, symbolic meanings like in the track "Into The Light" with the lyrics 'I feel like a puppet with a drunken puppeteer' are excellent. His songs cover a lot of meaningful subjects and his brilliant talented guitar playing carries the songs all the way to a successful.
"Dream Catch Me" the first single shows us a classic love story. Newton uses dreams to represent the love between him and whomever the song is to. With the use of simple symbols to represent love, it's easy to understand what Faulkner is trying to portray in this song.
Like Paulo Nutini his music isn't original but has catchy choruses and backing tunes which some how makes him differ from all the other singer songwriters. Faulkner adds something unique.
my music tastes had always been open to anything new and different. i was a great fan of acoustic artists like jack johnson and jose gonzalez but as my tastes developed i started to liek more upbeat acoustic. newton faulkner really is incredible. his music can make you feel many emotions that not many artists can make you feel. i first noticed him when i heard his song dream catch me on the radio. other than this song he was a little known artist. so, unlike usually i decided to buy his album. and it is fantastic. easily the best album i have heard in a logn time. it was refreshign to hear new beats, rythems and lyrics. his fantastic voice is aided by his ability to play the guitar and also to write songs. i can listen to this album over and over again and like the songsm roe and more each time i listen to them. athough they do start off slow they soon pick up to fantastic beats and simply fantastic songs. if you like jack johnson, elliot smith and other artists like them then you will love newton faulkner. there is something for everyone. you really cannot go wrong with this album.
Over the last few years I have found my musical tastes developing ever so slightly over time and it was my introduction to Elliott Smith that started leading me towards more chilled out artists. So by last summer when Newton Faulkner announced his arrival on the British music scene with the release of "I Need Something", I could tell he was another artist I was going to like. I'd been listening to Jack Johnson quite a bit for the last couple of years and finally a British artist seemed to be able to rival him in making chilled out, relaxing music.
Then towards the end of July last year Newton released this, his debut album, Hand Built By Robots at the incredibly young age of 22. It was an incredible album for someone so young and when it debuted in the album charts at number 3 it was clear that Newton was going to be something pretty special. With influences that range from Jurassic 5, Massive Attack and Joni Mitchell to Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains he draws his influences from a huge spectrum of bands and while his own sound is very relaxed the sound has a very varied mixture of sounds.
It is musically and vocally a very mature album for someone so young. He did have a co writer on a couple of tracks but by and large this impressive collection of 16 new songs and 1 cover is certainly an impressive achievement. The album itself does have a nice mixture of pace and Newton seems to blend the slower, more relaxed tunes in nicely with the faster paced, more up tempo numbers. By and large his sound is ideally suited to the Summer season and the slow, gentler numbers and more upbeat tracks will certainly play a large part in my summer.
The albums tempo is by and large dictated by Newton's guitar and all the tracks are built around this. The slower tempo tends to involve a piano but this is a very guitar driven track and even on the faster paced numbers he hasn't employed a huge drum kit to supply the tempo and pace but manages to create it on the guitar. It's an impressive sound that really seems to blend in well with his vocals and the occasional tracks with the piano loops sound equally as powerful as the faster paced guitar driven songs.
For a lad from Surrey he has a very distinctive sound to his vocals. There is something quite relaxing and soothing in his vocals. He can hit the higher notes but seems to be equally at home with deeper notes. In particular his vocals provide a nice melody in tracks like "People Should Smile More" and " Dream Catch Me". It is perhaps down to Newton's unique appearance and vocal style that has got his music noticed but regardless of what lead to his discovery it was certainly a good thing for all concerned and particularly the music buying public.
He is one of those artists that can appeal to a much wider audience than just that which the record company identified. He has a really non offensive sound to his music that will appeal to just about everyone. His vocals may put off a few people but by and large Newton seems to be making nice, catchy pop songs to be enjoyed by the masses. It's fair to say the overall tone of this album is very relaxed and even his cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop" is slightly different and opens the track up to more than just Massive Attack's target audience.
Overall this is a very impressive debut album from someone so young. Newton shows a maturity far beyond his young years in this album and I personally could have sworn he seemed to be at least 5 years older than he actually is. It's an album I've found myself listening to on a regular basis; it does have a certain uplifting feel to it that helps to raise your mood. It really is a Summery feeling album and I can see me playing it to death this summer. As for a target audience it is fair to say that if you've enjoyed Newton's singles then buying the album isn't a gamble as every track on the album is as good as the single you'll have heard and enjoyed. My final word on this album has to simply be, Buy it.
Amazon Marketplace: £5.73
What is this weird sound we keep hearing all over the music channels and the radio? Well this glorious sound is Newton Faulkner. Who? I hear you cry. Well Newton has come very far over the past few months. Born in 1985 making him a fresh 22 years of age, Newton first started playing the guitar when he was 15. Although if you listen to his guitar playing you would think he was born playing it. I first saw Newton Live when he supported James Morrison at the beginning of the year. The unique sound plus his excellent Spongebob Squarepants song impression, immediately got my attention. As soon as I got home I logged onto his Myspace page and followed him constantly through all his hard work. His first EP UFO wasnt recognised and again it was back to the drawing board. 6 months later Newton announced the release of his long awaited album, and a small venue tour. I immediately booked my tickets to go to see him in Liverpool. Again he was amazing. How can one man and one homemade Guitar cast such an impression on me? You just have to listen to his amazing album Hand built by robots to find out why.
Although you will first realise that the all the tracks are relatively short (the whole album is just 44mins long) the quality is excellent. You know what they say its not the size that counts!! Dream Catch me is Newtons (first) recognised single and entered the charts last week at an amazing 6th place. (The album was number 3 ) The sound is unique as are all his songs. "Every time I close my eyes, it's you". The opening few words of the song are quite mysterious. With a tranquil and quite elegant backing track the lyrics are thoughtful, graceful and romantic.
Also on the album is a cover version of Massive attacks Teardrop, which is brilliantly done, and although massive attacks version is a classic Newton does the song Justice. I have to say my favourite two songs on the album are Uncomfortably slow, and straight towards the sun.
Uncomfortably slow starts softly and builds into the chorus with some beautiful lyrics. The passion in his voice makes the song. You can tell that he has put a lot of thought into the words. Straight towards the sun is also a slow beautiful song, sounding a bit like a John Lennon track. Although some people have compared it to Crowded house/pink floyd.
Newton has also had a lot of fun with this Album with tracks such as UFO which features the lyrics I better watch out for the anal Probe and full fat which says God is a sausage roll People should smile more does what it says it makes you smile more. Its about him trying to change the world by making people smile.
Ive come to the conclusion that Newton is going to be a huge star. He has a massive following on Myspace and his tours are selling out fast, along with the album, which I had to go to several different shops for. Although he doesnt really look like the typical pretty boy that most solo male singer are these days, he defiantly has something about him. He loves his fans and will take the time out to talk to them and sign autographs. He has had a hard journey to get to where he is now and it isnt over yet. The ginger dreadlocks remind me of a young Mick Hucknall and if he is half as big as simply red were then hell be a superstar.
Please buy this album and support Newton and join him on his Myspace page www.myspace.com/newtonfaulkner
Happy Newton Falkner day everyone!!!
Lynz_1981 on ciao!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 ) Intro
2 ) To The Light
3 ) I Need Something
4 ) All I Got
5 ) Dream Catch Me
6 ) Feels Like Home
7 ) Teardrop
8 ) Gone In The Morning
9 ) Sitar-y Thing
10 ) Uncomfortably Slow
11 ) Straight Towards The Sun
12 ) People Should Smile More
13 ) She's Got The Time
14 ) UFO
15 ) Face (Her)
16 ) Aging Superhero
17 ) Lullaby