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Rebuilt By Humans

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Album Review

Famed for his fiddly finger-plucking, guitar-patting, and intricate arrangements, ginger-haired dreadlocked surf-dude Newton Faulkner became an unlikely fixture at the top of the charts in 2007 with his debut album, Hand Built by Robots. With a title inspired by an operation on a wrist injury just prior to recording, his sophomore album, Rebuilt by Humans, continues to revive the noble tradition of the one-man band, but also sporadically introduces a wider array of instrumentation to create a slightly more expansive and eclectic sound. There's nothing as radical as his Green Day covers band beginnings, but the proper opening track "Badman," a Peter Gabriel-esque ode to the beauty of nature, full of twanging blues riffs, fuzzy synths, and pounding rhythms and recalling the funk-rock output of his previous band, Half a Guy, and the Levellers-meets-Frankmusik leanings of "Won't Let Go," blending sharp Celtic folk strings with urgent '80s-inspired electro beats, show that Faulkner is more than capable of stepping outside his comfort zone. It's a shame that Rebuilt by Humans doesn't do that more often, as when he reverts back to his everyman troubadour inclinations there's not much to differentiate him from the plethora of acoustic singer/songwriters already out there. The lilting guitar hooks, country-style harmonica, and overall laid-back vibe of "Lipstick Jungle" evokes the breezy beachside folk-pop of Jack Johnson; the driving anthemic chorus of lead single "If This Is It" echoes the epic melancholic rock of Snow Patrol; and closing track "I'm Not Giving Up Yet" is the kind of stripped-down poetic ballad you'd expect to find on the first Damien Rice album. While never short of a rousing chorus or emotive heartbreak-themed lyric, you do wish that producer Mike Spencer (Jamiroquai, Kylie Minogue) could have persevered with its occasional forays into more adventurous territory, while five largely instrumental interludes, which unnecessarily pad out the album, do little to dispel the sense of fatigue that wears in by the umpteenth "just me and my guitar" track. Rebuilt by Humans will satisfy those expecting another fix of free-spirited acoustic stoner pop, but its flashes of genre-straddling invention indicate that Faulkner's sophomore album could have been so much more. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

My new favourite album

Rebuilt by humans is a fantastic return from my favourite artist of 2008. You could play the 1st album from start to finish without skipping a song and this is exactly the same. If this is it, Over and Out and I took it out on you are Newton at his best and reminiscent of the huge Dream catch me. Other new tracks such as the amazing Badman and Lipstick Jungle show that Newton has progressed as well and displays a new edge. This album has everything. Well done!


This album is as good if not better than the first. It feels a lot more up-tempo than Hand Built but for those who are fans of the stripped back guitar led songs should check out the bare Been Thinking About It and I'm Not Giving Up Yet - with what could be Newton's most powerful vocal yet. Personally, I love the daftness of Let's Get Together and the driving If This Is It. Mike Spencer who produced a lot of the first album has given Rebuilt a similar feel to Hand Built but has also given it a slightly bolder textured feel. Rebuilt is a perfect partner to Hand Built by Robots and I am sure will be loved by old and new Newton fans!!

A massive dissapointment to fans.

As a massive Newton fan, I have to say I'm disappointed with the album. Far too overproduced compared to the first - he needs to stick to the style of his amazing live performances.

Some of the songs are great - Badman, If This Is It and I'm Not Giving Up Yet, and my new favourite Won't Let Go. However you get the impression the rest of the songs are fillers, and the new single 'Over and Out' could be written by any wannabe Take That clone.

Not a just follow up to the first album.


Born: 11 January 1985 in Surrey, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Sam Newton Battenberg Faulkner was born in Surrey on the 11th of January 1985 and attended the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, studying the guitar and graduating at the age of 17. He played bass guitar in a Green Day cover band and, before going solo under the fuller name of Newton Battenburg Faulkner, he formed the funk-rock band Half a Guy with Matt Buchanan, Dave Elvy, and Nicola Crawshaw. The band released a live self-titled EP with no success and, rather than play angry metal music...
Full bio
Rebuilt By Humans, Newton Faulkner
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Customer Ratings