Album Review of Revolve by John Newman.

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John Newman

Revolve by John Newman

Release Date: Oct 16, 2015
Record label: Island
Genre(s): Pop, R&B, Pop/Rock, Contemporary R&B, Retro-Soul

58 Music Critic Score
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Revolve - Average, Based on 4 Critics

AllMusic - 70
Based on rating 7/10

Released almost exactly two years after the U.K. chart-topping, platinum-selling Tribute, Revolve more closely follows Calvin Harris' equally successful "Blame," on which John Newman provided a typically full-throttle vocal (and somewhat contradictory lines like "Guilt is burning" and "Don't blame it on me"). Although Newman made this album with a new set of collaborators, including fellow producer/songwriters Greg Kurstin and Jack Splash, its foundation is likewise in muscular retro-soul that blares and bolts and manages to keep up with the singer's superhuman level of energy.

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PopMatters - 60
Based on rating 6/10

There are two ways to look at Yorkshireman soulster John Newman: 1. Here’s a guy who is James Brown to Sam Smith’s Little Richard. Both artists have taken influences from all the R&B greats and meshed them with hyper-current production ethos that form somewhat of a forward-thinking soul music sound. You want Otis Redding in the Katy Perry era? You best expect a whole bunch of four-to-the-floor grooves and more processed sounds than a shopping mall’s arcade.

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The Observer (UK) - 60
Based on rating 3/5

It seems an age since John Newman’s first album, Tribute, put on its dancing shoes, followed soon after by the crying game of Sam Smith’s first album. For a time, the two baby-faced soul men enjoyed parallel ascents into renown, with No 1 singles as featured vocalists (for Rudimental and Naughty Boy respectively); both peddled old-sounding vocals to a young crowd. Their fortunes diverged somewhat when Smith’s torch song approach yielded the bigger numbers (8.5m worldwide at last count).

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The Guardian - 40
Based on rating 2/5

After bustling his way towards the front of the overcrowded retro-soul field with 2013’s Tribute, Yorkshireman John Newman sounds desperate to go further. Revolve opens with a chest-thumping speech about strength and resilience, and is packed with stadium-aimed tunes, strings, brass, a choir and presumably a kitchen sink – but that didn’t stop recent single Tiring Game limping to No 134. Lights Down and top 5 hit Come and Get It are much stronger songs, and Newman’s gritty voice suggests an authentic soul man.

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