Imagination exercise: picture John Mellencamp with a wee bit more country and a lot less distinctiveness. That fuzzy haze that emerges is probably Mark Newman. A majority of his self-released debut is generic rockers with pseudo-slide guitar, shooting for more Marc Cohn territory than Garth Brooks. His lyrics are interesting in that generic way that any pop-rock artist is, and sometimes very awkward: (“I admit that I’m no rocket scientist / But now she wants me to see her psychiatrist”, he croons on “So So Cynical”). Moments of levity certainly help the affairs at hand (as on the barn-burning closer “Going Underground” and fun “Mambo Dancing”), but rarely does he rise above his own one-note meanderings. The one most fantastic moment, however, is actually a Bee Gees cover. The disco kings’ very first folk-rock hit, “New York Mining Disaster, 1941”—which itself echoed Simon & Garfunkel—gets a contemplative treatment that roots the song in a far more emotional ground than the original. Mark Newman is brilliant when he’s honest, awesome when he’s having a full-throttle good time, but forgettable in any other setting.
// Sound Affects
"The man whose songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, David Allan Coe, The Highwaymen, and countless others succumbs to time’s cruel cue that the only token of permanence we have to offer are the effects of shared moments and memories.READ the article