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4.4 out of 5 stars83
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 5 November 2010
I was astonished to read the two less than enthusiastic reviews about this CD. Although I love Paul Carrack's previous work and have followed his career, I found it to be an interesting change of direction and his voice seems ideally suited to showcase the tracks included on this album. He never 'over sings'and each track seems effortlessly perfect. It was wonderful to hear him singing with a full orchestra and the beautiful, melodic arrangement of the tracks is to be commended. I've seen Paul sing four of these tracks live at a recent BBC concert (with the BBC Concert Orchestra) and it was an outstanding performance - he's the real deal and can sing them live as beautifully, tunefully and soulfully as on the recording. I would rate this as one of the best CD's I've purchased in 2010 and hope he follows it up with another similar collection. Highly recommended!
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on 17 November 2010
I've reviewed several other Paul Carrack releases in the past but none have ever received 5 stars.
I feel it's thoroughly deserved here and will be an incredibly difficult project for Paul to follow.

People have complained in the past that Paul can be a bit insular, recording albums in his home studio
and tending to play practically all the instruments as well as taking control of production...
no such complaints on this occasion. Paul has employed his good friend Peter Van Hooke to oversee production
and David Cullen has done the arrangements and conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for recordings
which took place at Air and Abbey Road Studios. The results are his best album to date, Paul has never sounded better
and the arrangements of many well know songs are wonderful.

This is an album from a bygone era, the kind of thing Sinatra was doing long ago. It seems to be something
several artists have looked at recently with Peter Gabriel's Scratch My Back and Sting's Symphonicities to name a few.

Paul has said his inspiration was Joni Mitchell's highly recommended Both Sides Now but rather than sticking with his own compositions;
'I Live On A Battlefield', 'Eyes Of Blue', 'Love Will Keep Us Alive' and 'It Ain't Over', he has also taken on several standards
including a couple generally associated with Ol' Blue Eyes himself, 'All The Way' and 'For All We Know'.
I'm glad he did as he has tended to revisit his own material quite a lot on previous albums and the songs chosen enhance this particular album.

I'd warmly recommend this deluxe edition as opposed to the standard CD A Different Hat.
The booklet charts the recording session with some lovely photographs and for all you audiophiles, there's also
a vinyl edition A Different Hat [VINYL] which is superb quality.
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on 24 January 2011
Paul Carrack is an exceptionally talented performer. In addition to his musical skills on keyboards and guitar, and his ability to write melodic and soulful songs, he has a voice that really has no equal in this country for his ability to sing totally convincingly in a pop, rock, soul, blues or gospel style. He is one of our (partly) hidden gems!

And so to this album. I have most of his recordings from his solo years, and there has, in my opinion, never been a duff one! More-or-less anything you hear by him will have that PC style to it, and a warmth that appeals across the sex and age barrier.

Two or three years ago he did a Christmas album with a full orchestra, which was recorded in Germany. I thought it was very good, although someone with a lesser voice may not have got away with it, because at times it was veering into the Sinatra, Dean Martin territory!

Maybe that album inspired him to do this one. As before, this has lush orchestral arrangements, and generally my comments as above still apply! I enjoyed it very much, but suspect I may not return to it as often as I do some of his earlier albums, if only because I probably prefer his music in a small band environment.

However, that is not to detract from A Different Hat, which is a lovingly crafted album, which agains displays the extraordinary range of Paul Carrack's immense talents.
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I've been a fan of Paul Carrack from his days with Ace, through Squeeze and Mike & The Mechanics and, he has a great touring band. The BBC film showed that his voice is probably even better now, and he is the kind of modest guy who you'd like to meet down the pub for a pint. So why only four stars? There are some great tracks but aren't sufficiently varied to provide texture. His voice needs to be louder in the mix - he is singing in a lower key than usual - and the orchestration reminds me of "Days Of Future Passed" by the Moody Blues from 1967.

The best tracks for me are:

* "I Can't make You Love Me" - dare I say that it's even better than the version by the wonderful Bonnie
Raitt;

* "Eyes of Blue" - written by Paul Carrack;

* "Love Will keep Us Alive" - co-written by Jim Capaldi, Paul Carrack, and Peter Vale. Paul's singing
is up there with the Eagles Timothy B. Schmit.

Listen to this album when you're feeling positive, as if your relationship is not too good you're going to head for some liquid comfort.
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on 30 November 2010
The match with Paul and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is a perfect example of harmony. Just sit back, relax and listen. Even better if your computer can mix the tracks together, give it a go. We sat down with a bottle of wine and did exactly that, it was chillout time. Paul you have done it again, lets have a volume 2, without doubt it would sell. For those who may have some doubt, give it a try, the only way I can describe the album is its like the smoothest chocolate with a "Baileys"
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on 16 July 2014
As always this Paul Carrack Cd is a superb addition to my collection. On this occasion I bought the Amazon MP3 download with some concern it would not be as sound as my preferred option of CD buying and downloading it myself. No worries it was perfectly stored on I-cloud, cheaper and no postage requirements. The result was achieved and even a novice like me cannot make it malfunction.
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on 2 September 2015
I normally avoid covers and in particular orchestral maker-overs. However this is not in that category. Paul puts his heart and soul and music magic, into deliver a truly wonderful and enjoyable body of music. Highly recommend.
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on 7 December 2010
All i can say about this new cd by Paul is
Beautiful songs made even more enjoyable and mind blowing'
with the amazing orchestra and arrangements of each song finished with the truly great voice of this great artist.

As it says
A Different Hat... A different class.. need i say more

The man done us proud yet again
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on 3 January 2011
I was sitting and putting on my make up while listening to the radio and this sweet velvet voice and gorgeous music just bathed my ears in honey....I was at once whisked away on a cloud of audio delight. Lost in Paul's vocal dexterity but all too soon the 2 songs ended and I was gently placed back in my kitchen. I must have lost time because when the music ended I found that I had completed my make up application and had only the finishing touch of lippy to apply.. Simply, magical :)

Paul's voice has no sign of age, and infact shows only experience and good use..
If you buy this CD you will not be disappointed.
The emotive pull of his tones and beautiful music arrangement is bliss..

Dont think about it, Buy it :)

PURE CLASS...
Thank you PAUL :)

PS..I had never heard of this guy in my life and I am no spring chicken! but I am now a fan :)
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on 17 April 2012
This is one of the most relaxing albums I have listened to in a long while. First heard at a friends' house and enjoyed so much went home and ordered straight away. Did not know he had recorded so much on his own and shall be working my way through the rest of his albums.
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