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Album Review - Newton Faulkner's Write It On Your Skin

posted 17 Jul 2012, 05:56 by Chris Morris
The number one album in the UK Top 40 this week is Write it on Your Skin by singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner. The entire album is very upbeat and has a nice feel-good sound about it. Only two of the songs are slower ballads but even these sound very inspiring and uplifting. Don't get me wrong, I like a good sad song, but Faulkner has done happy versions of sad songs... I'm even confusing myself. Let's get started with the real review.

I haven't heard much of Newton Faulkner on the radio or anywhere else recently so this album was the first music I've heard from him since Dream Catch Me. The songs on this album sound very similar to the music I heard by him around the Dream Catch Me era, but this isn't to say it's a bad thing: He seems to have remained loyal to what he wants to do and has managed to avoid making songs which agree with what the radio seems to think makes good music.

Some of the songs on Write it on Your Skin sound very well thought out for a studio production. There is ample use of percussion and double tracking on Faulkner's voice (Actually, in some cases like the title track for instance, three or four tracks on Faulkner's voice can be heard). One song in particular, Long Shot may be quite difficult to perform live as it depended on minimal use of guitar with other instruments slowly creeping in to make one big sound. Also, in Brick by Brick there is a guitar sound which has been recorded and then cut up to sound almost like a hip-hop sample. Faulkner's ability to experiment with these sounds and come up with some great ideas is displayed in nearly every one of the songs on this album.

But it's not an entirely studio-friendly album; a few of the songs are very much just Newton Faulkner and an acoustic guitar, perhaps a drummer and a bassist will join him. He uses the guitar as a percussion instrument in some of the songs (Which he is quite famous for), and it works really well to create an unusual sound for the listener. It's also really fun to watch someone master this technique live - I saw Newton Faulkner at T in the Park one year and my eyes were glued to what he was doing with his guitar.

The drummer on this album is one of the best I've heard since doing these music blogs, certainly the best out of the music from the UK singles chart. Unfortunately I can't find out anywhere who played drums on this record but I must give him credit for managing to groove nicely along with the acoustic guitar without being too overpowering for the mood. 

While I wouldn't say this is a classic album or a mind blowing effort, this was definitely a treat to listen to after having to endure last week's number one. Here's hoping some Newton Faulkner songs make their way into the singles chart next week.