Song Review: News – A Real Man

News - A Real ManI will always respect an artist who refuses to go quietly into the night. With twenty years of music under their belt and many line-up changes over that time, it would be easy for News to settle into a dull, adult contemporary rut of ballads and coffeehouse fare. But in many ways, they feel more adventurous than ever. Freed from the constraints of being the “hot new group” of the moment, they’re able to indulge in sounds and structures that are bold and ambitious.

New single A Real Man is a great example of this approach. It’s also a testament to why Johnny’s Entertainment should be uploading all their music videos in full. No song benefits from a “short version” edit – especially not one this sprawling and diverse. The YouTube edit is a disservice to the song’s overall experience, though it’ll give you a taste for what you’re in for.

A Real Man is not News’ first attempt at a “movie musical” style track, but I think it’s their most successful. The song pinballs between diverse segments, from rousing choir to brassy breakdown to effusive, stomping centerpiece. There are so many ideas stuffed into the track’s four minute frame and you may find yourself confused on first listen. But, each transition is intentional and well-delivered. There’s a gutsiness to even the most subdued moments, and the song’s backing choir pays dividends. This is especially true during the compelling bridge, which goes gospel for a rousing build toward A Real Man’s final, celebratory chorus. I’m not sure how the track will age, but for now it’s a delightful twist in a discography filled with fascinating asides.

Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9

Grade: A-


4 thoughts on “Song Review: News – A Real Man

  1. I thought I would pop in here to the quiet thread for a quick listen, and looky loo what is that I hear? Real goddamn chorus singing in harmony and real horns! Glory Halleujah. And full throated singing out loud!
    Also, way bonkers in a good way.

    OK sure, towards the second half it sounds very Up with People! but I love it anyway! Can anybody find meeeeeee somebody to love!

    And it seems, Nick, you and I have it all to ourselves.


  2. I listened to this when the version first came out on YouTube so I think I missed the fact that you reviewed it here! I am genuinely really impressed by Masuda’s singing. I didn’t even know who he was until a few months ago but damn, he’s just very impressive, and he’s doing so much heavy lifting with the vocals here – not that the other two don’t contribute to the song in their ways, but it’s that I feel he’s the heart of this trio and doing a damn good job at it.

    This song is quite intriguing – I really do like how big and bold it is too! I agree that the YouTube edit is a shame because I was not a fan of how they went back to repeating the same hook four-five times after the high of that initial chorus – I”m sure the full version feels like a more complete journey. But yeah, this is a gem among releases this year!


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