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4.7 out of 5 stars93
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 August 2013
It's odd how much the Studio Zoo process took over my life for five weeks earlier this summer.

It's even odder that nearly five weeks after the cameras turned off, Studio Zoo has once again taken over.

The album grasps you from the first lick of "Where To Start", a lick that like most Faulkner riffs, amazes the ears and makes a lot of people think, "How?". From there, what follows is a collection of incredible songs (personal favourites are hard to select at this stage) that show Newton Faulkner's incredible range of talent both instrumentally and vocally, as well as a very unique production sound that you would not guess had been recorded in a small home studio surrounded by webcams.

The inclusion of artists such as Mumford and Sons bassist Ted Dwane, X Factor competitor Janet Devlin and cellist India Bourne are incredible additions to an already immensly musical atmosphere.

I already wrote on Twitter, "Not only a great album but a great souvenir of five weeks of some great entertainment", a sentiment that sticks with me everytime I will listen I'm sure.
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on 26 August 2013
I was fortunate enough to tune into Newton Faulkner's Studio Zoo live stream to watch the master at work while he produced this exceptional album. During the five weeks of recording I was only absent one day, so I can declare with complete honesty that this album MUST become part of your music collection.

Newton (and talented brother, Toby) have outdone themselves with this brilliant collection of songs...every single one a hit. The bar has been raised and I predict this album will be talked about for a long time to come. A classic in the making and an absolute must buy!
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on 26 August 2013
This is just perfection! I've watched the live making of this studiozoo album and it has been wonderful to be a part of, and see how the music maestro known as Newton Faulkner has written, recorded, mixed and mastered this masterpiece. I have every one of Newton's albums, and everyone of them is timeless in its own right. I highly recommend the whole collection :-)
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on 26 August 2013
It was a brave (some might say risky?) decision by Newton Faulkner to give everyone a 'fly on the wall' insight into the process that IS recording an album. But Newton, his brother Toby, sister (and manager) Lottie & photographer and graphic designer Emily Coxhead - collectively - made it all happen before our very eyes in such a way that they made it SEEM like they were old hands at this 'live streaming 24/7 from 4 webcams whilst creating an album' malarkey, fact is, they were dipping their toes into unknown waters! However, they pulled it off beautifully, and the resulting album is like an audio shap-shot of a balmy sun-drenched 5 week period that (when listened to) conjurers up that relaxing Summer vibe as the Autumnal season looms ever closer.

The album contains 13 beautifully lyrical, melodious, multi-layered pieces of work which are made even MORE beautiful by the additional musical input from the guests who popped into StudioZoo during the 5 week long project, to add their own magic to this body of work.

Primarily, people such as:
India Bourne - Classically trained Cellist & amazingly talented multi-instrumentalist (who you may have seen accompanying Ben Howard over the last few years)
Ted Dwane - one quarter of Mumford & Sons, and Double Bass player extraordinaire
Janet Devlin - a finalist on X Factor 2011
Ryan Keen - an amazing Devonian singer/songwriter who is about to release his OWN debut album 'Room For Light' on September 23rd 2013
Sam Brookes - another new singer/songwriter to listen out for
All brought something unique, sumptuous and special to the party.

This is Newton's 4th album and if the pre-orders and rapid sales - post-Midnight - of the downloadable version on the day the album was officially released (August 26th 2013) are anything to go by, THREE is really going to prove to be the magic number for this amazing singer/songwriter!

I highly recommend Studio Zoo to anyone with an ear for great music!!
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on 9 September 2013
I have a previous album from this talented guy but Studio Zoo is even better. I love his voice and the fact that I can hear all his lyrics without any 'guesswork' is quite unique these days. Well done Newton! The CD's arrived in the post just as I was dashing out so I eagerly popped it in my cars music system so I could listen as I made my journey. What a great journey! The first six tracks seemed quite melancholy - first listening impression. (I hadn't had the opportunity to listen the day before which was a shame. I was impressed with that feature of my purchase -even though I didn't have time to utilise it). I reached my destination at this point. When I got back into my car and track 7 'At the seams' started to play I felt quite uplifted. It's definately one of my favourite tracks, so far, as is 'Waiting on You' 'Keep Trying' and 'Can't give it away'. I have insisted my family listen to Studio Zoo and I also shared it with friends a couple of nights ago. All gave positive feedback. The more I listen to it the more I think 'This is a grower!' I really liked it but now I love it. He never disappoints. The acoustic guitar playing and percussion effects are really very good. Such talent. The lyrics conjure up such visual imagery too. A lovely couple of albums..
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on 5 September 2013
I absolutely love Newton Faulkner's work and have seen him live which is an amazing experience...but...

This album does not consistently deliver; there are some excellent moments that make it worth the price and much more, but there are also tracks which lack the craftsmanship of his previous offerings.

I'm still a great fan and will be seeing him live next year - tickets purchased! - but I don't expect to want to listen to the whole album repeatedly - it has gems (which I'll leave you to find) amongst some less valuable items.
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on 2 September 2013
I get the feeling that this is the first time that Newton has managed to avoid the 'pop' influence of his label (the mighty Sony!) Perhaps this is why there's been no advertising or radio plays (slapped wrist?) However, the result is something deeper, more personal and in my opinion, far more important than his previous albums. Along with a lot of other people, I got hooked on studiozoo, where the entire 5 week recording process was streamed live from his home studio. We saw the intense concentration and dedication he put into it, as he played, sang, engineered and produced this record. The result is raw talent, with mostly live, one-take recording and no autotune or production gloss to hide it.

I can't name my favourite tracks, as I love them all for different reasons, amazing vocal range, stunning guitar virtuosity, or simply lyrics that hit the nail right on the head!

It's might not be instant, earworm-style pop and may take a few listens to really begin to appreciate it, but it just keeps getting better and I'm convinced that it will find it's place amongst the classics. If you like real music, rather than manufactured, digitized product, then you must give this a try.

Don't just take my word for it, just read the other reviews!
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on 26 August 2013
This album is just awesome. Phenomenal songwriting, and musicianship in every song. Just brilliant track after brilliant track.Looking forward to the next one! :-)
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on 2 September 2013
Stuzio Zoo is... incomparable.
I know of no other musical endeavour quite the same... poetic, beautiful, lyrical, harmonious, involving, immersive, and just... incredible.
Newton Faulkner is a complete master of his music. It becomes what the best of music and art is, in that there is more there than the creator places there - there is so much contained in the lyrics and the harmonies and the cadences of beauty that each listening can eke something different out, can conclude with a new feeling and thought.
I'd recommend anyone to have a listen... and see what you come away with.
Also highly recommended:
Write It On Your Skin
Hand Built By Robots
Rebuilt By Humans

Give Studio Zoo a go. You won't won't won't regret it.
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on 30 August 2013
I've been a fan of newton for the passed year now I got into percussive guitar playing through him bought all his albums and this one was going to be even more perfection as we got to see it all being made on following it every step of the way and to hear the final product well at the time of this review I've had this deluxe album for 2 hours now and its once again perfection the songs get better and better I've all ready began to transcribe this album my favourite song so far is treading water I can't wait to see him play this live in November so over all id give this album 9/10 great work from a great player
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