Review: Newton Faulkner – Human Love

It’s been two years but Newton Faulkner is back with a brand new record label, a brand new haircut and a brand new album.

The first track and first single, a cover of Major Lazer’s track ‘Get Free’, is a bold opener. Certainly, the music video came as a shock to many fans as he sits alone in a chair, cutting his trademark dreadlocks off. The track also gives fans a good hint at the style of the rest of the album.

The album has a new, fresh feel and many of the tracks are bigger and bolder than many of his previous acoustic hits. A lot of focus is put on his voice, with powerful, high-pitched numbers like ‘Shadow Boxing’ showcasing his vocal range. This is not to say however, that the guitar work that made him so famous in his earlier albums has been side-lined, as songs like ‘Stay and Take’ demonstrate his famous acoustic-percussion.

Faulkner has said that when writing the album he was inspired by some African folk bands, and the rhythmic chanting and instrumentation on tracks like ‘Far to Fall’ show the effect of this influence. Overall, it’s a fairly fast-paced album, and Faulkner said that the bolder sounds “really work for the later slot at festivals”, so hopefully Human Love will provide the opportunity for him to make a festival comeback this summer.

The second single and second track on the album, ‘Up Up and Away’ has just been officially released as a new music video. One of the most upbeat songs on the album, the video shows Faulkner and a team of other people running and dancing along the canal next to Queen Mary. The best part about this album is that all of the tracks have the potential to be singles, so there may well be more exciting music videos ahead.

All in all, the new album has a really refreshing taste, though it isn’t a complete change of style. Although Human Love has a more mainstream sound, this isn’t a bad thing as his trademark style and quirkiness is still there. The best part is that there is more to come as he’s already working on the next album.

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