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Newton Faulkner - Rebuilt By Humans

Newton Faulkner, Rebuilt by Humans

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

NEWTON Faulkner’s sophomore album Rebuilt by Humans is a remarkable achievement for several reasons.

First and foremost, it’s a minor miracle it even got completed given that the singer-songwriter broke his wrist prior to recording in a freak injury that could have cost him his career.

But, by his own admission, it also gave him pause to reflect on the tumultuous nature of his life, which hadn’t seen him take a break since the overwhelming success of debut album, Hand Built By Robots.

This, in turn, contributed to a richer second album – one that was less rushed and musically more diverse. That’s not to say that the debut wasn’t good; it was great!

But Faulkner has resisted the temptation to merely repeat the formula. Rebuilt By Humans is much more expansive… introducing a wider scope of instrumentation to augment his trademark husky vocals and trusty acoustic guitar.

It’s an excellent return from him and one that deserves to emulate – if not surpass – the lofty success of its predecessor.

In typically endearing Faulkner fashion it also reflects the journey he’s had through the time since he broke through to major stardom, including – by virtue of the album’s name – his injury, his comeback, his passion for playing life (as reflected in the former single If This Is It), as well as the break-up and recovery of his romantic relationship.

It’s an album that barely puts a foot wrong enjoyment-wise, flitting breezily between expansive crowd-pleasing moments such as If This Is It, Let’s Get Together and Over And Out and more introspective, tender moments such as I’m Not Giving Up Yet, Resin On My Heart Strings and Been Thinking About It.

In between, there’s the country-tinged moonshine offering that is She’s Got The Time (which can’t fail to bring a smile to the face), the Peter Gabriel-esque Badman (which capably demonstrates the broader sound of the album from the off), and the charming Jack Johnson-esque moments such as Lipstick Jungle.

Throughout, Faulkner’s guitar playing is exemplary – mixing some intricate chord play with some more straight-forward campfire plucking. Yet it’s a measure of the growing ambition of this talented, charismatic performer that he’s confident enough to draw on extra instrumentation to enrich the overall sound.

In short, Rebuilt By Humans is a damn fine listen and one of the albums of the year. It makes a mockery of “that difficult second album syndrome”, as well as the undoubted physical difficulty that must have gone into making it.

Read our interview with Newton Faulkner

Download picks: Badman, I Took It Out on You, If This Is It, Been Thinking About It, Let’s Get Together, Resin On My Heart Strings, Over And Out, I’m Not Giving Up Yet, Won’t Let Go

Track listing:

  1. Intro (Interlude)
  2. Badman
  3. I Took It Out On You
  4. Hello (Interlude)
  5. If This Is It
  6. Resin On My Heart Strings
  7. Lipstick Jungle
  8. Been Thinking About It
  9. Let’s Get Together
  10. She’s Got The Time 2
  11. Won’t Let Go
  12. Resin Theramins (Interlude)
  13. First Time
  14. Over & Out
  15. Cheltenham (Interlude)
  16. So Much
  17. This Town
  18. I’m Not Giving Up Yet

  1. Newton’s had a bit of flack from people expecting him to just repeat the first album. Very glad he had the balls not to – I expect the next one to be different again, but brilliant as always. Keep it up Newt!

    Jason T    Nov 19    #