Big, beat-conscious and astonishingly diverse are not the adjectives that might have sprung immediately to mind with regard to Newton Faulkner in the past. He was the singer-songwriter once tagged ‘the British Jack Johnson’ and tossed in alongside sensitive, strumming troubadours in the tradition of Jackson Browne and James Taylor. He was the guy with the dreadlocks he had been cultivating since the age of 15, the one who flayed the hell out of an acoustic guitar whenever he played live.
That was then. These days, Newton Faulkner is a different proposition, and his audacious new album, Human Love, is a colorful statement of intent. His fifth studio collection, and his first for new label BMG, it is an alluring maelstrom of rhythm and harmony. Embracing racing drums, African percussion, chanted choruses, ambient interludes and the most imposing hooks of his career to date, it combines a more forthright writing style with a greater emphasis on beats and texture.