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Tom Newman - Faerie Symphony CD (album) cover


Tom Newman


Crossover Prog

2.86 | 18 ratings

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2 stars TOM NEWMAN appears to have been the "Robin" to MIKE OLDFIELD's "Batman". Just as a series based on the Robin character would never fly, a solo album by TOM NEWMAN represents a monsoon like dilution of the genius on display in most of OLDFIELD's works of the time.

One need go no further than the opening cut, like an outtake of an outtake from the weaker side of the "Tubular Bells" album. We also hear JADE WARRIOR in tunes like "The Fluter", not surprisingly given JON FIELD's participation, but Field can't work much magic in this format. Elsewhere a rather timid HORSLIPS in the more celtic oriented passages. But where is Tom himself? Perhaps this is a backwards way of looking at it, since what is deemed the Oldfield sound may owe equal debt to Newman. But one can only live in the world as it transpired, and in 1977 this was largely a disjointed rehash of instrumental prog cliches which, taken individually, might almost pass muster, but as an entity are invalid.

A few noteworthy excursions do standout, particularly the mysterious "Fairy Song" and the majestically layered "Dance of Daoine Sidhe". "The Unseelie Court" inspires nigh gut wrenching ambivalence, a brilliant and anticipatory riff slowly built upon that is at least twice as long and five times as unlistenable as it deserves to be

This disk's lack of cohesion, overall sense of deja vu and brevity, and filler quotient all suggest that Newman, blessed as he clearly was as producer, was not up to the task of recording artist, let alone that of symphony composer.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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