Music Reviews
Simply Red

Simply Red

Blue Eyed Soul

BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd

It’s been 40 years since Mick Hucknall began his musical career and his latest release with Simply Red is the 12th album in their catalog. Simply Red has a legacy of capturing smooth r&b and funk in a way that borrows from the godfathers of soul while adding their own stamp to the sound, and Blue Eyed Soul is no exception. These 10 tracks musically run the gambit but the album overall has a lot to say and lots of interesting ways to say it.

The first track, “Thinking of You” blasts through your speakers with some seriously funky horns and some strong vocals to cement the fact that Hucknall still has a powerful voice and isn’t afraid to use it. From there the album slows for the next few tracks starting with “Sweet Child”, about which Hucknall says “We, (alleged) grown ups should be asking ourselves if we will be leaving this world in better shape for our children than it is for us. So are we? Or are we failing them?”

“Complete Love” continues the more deliberate paced songs that deals with the enveloping love of your family while “Take a Good Look” has the feel of a classic Stax record groove and feel while asking you to look at yourself and see if you’re doing all that you can. “Ring that Bell” seems to be a call to arms to, as Mick sings, “give hell” and “raise the alarm” against the “bad man messing with our future.”

The album was written entirely by Mick Hucknall and recorded at London’s British Grove Studios. It was recorded live, with minimal overdubs, and that, in my opinion contributes to the fresh and energetic sounds that you hear on the entire album. Music producer Andy Wright, who started working with Simply Red back in 1995, and every album since, is again back in the producers seat to deliver the consistent sound we come to expect from this amazing band.

If you have been a fan of Simply Red from the way back, this album is a continuance of that same great music while keeping things fresh by addressing current issues. Mick has a fantastic way of bringing things right to the forefront with out being preachy and still keeping the album upbeat and fun. Blue Eyed Soul is out now and available directly from their website and all online retailers.

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