11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Simplified (Audio CD)
Doing an unplugged album was always going to be risky and Simply Red took a gamble with this one. One of the aims of the project was to show how Mick's voice has matured and how he feels it is at its best yet. It achieved success in this area as there is no doubt he has a wonderful voice but the fact that there is little new material on this album is dissapointing and shows almost a self-centredness. That said however, the album is done very well and the band sound great. Although some of the songs perhaps didn't need re-doing (i.e. 'Holding Back the Years', 'More') the songs do stand out in their new form and the songs are by no means ruined although hopefully the old versions won't be lost.
The album's start point - the latino feel - suits Mick very well and 'Perfect Love' and 'Something Got Me Started' are both classic feel-good songs. New versions of 'Fairground' and 'Sad Old Red' particularly stand out and we are reminded what classic songs 'For Your Babies' and 'Your Mirror' are although 'Your Mirror' could do with a bit more of a beat to it. Hints of Frank Sinatra are included in the album - in particular with 'Smile' and there is a really good cover of 'A Song For You' showing Mick unashamedly crooning away with a love song.
The album reminds us that there have been many Simply Red classics and may attract some new listeners although its likely that fans will be most attracted to it (if they don't feel slightly cheated) and this album is great to put on in the background but its perhaps not the best follow-up to 'Home' which many said marked a return to form. Fans will be pleased that the follow-up to this album - 'Amplified' - due out next year - will contain more new material and will have a more upbeat tone. For the mean time though if you're a new listener to Simply Red this album is a great starting point and if you're a true fan you'll probably enjoy Mick's voice.