You've gotta ask yourself "What is the world coming to?" We've got professional footballers who can't keep their trousers zipped up; a trigger-happy South African paralympian who seemingly dislikes models; and now Amazon has its greatest 90's guy listening to a Simply Red album. Yes, we are talking about the same 90's guy who likes Oasis music and Resident Evil video games. Scary, isn't it?
I had two reasons for buying this album. 1) It's 90's material. You can figure out the rest; and 2) A supermarket within walking distance of my home was selling refurbished CDs for £2 each. There was a lot of 90's and early 2000's material there. How could I say no? Anywho, I listened to 1995's "Life", Simply Red's fifth studio album, and found myself thoroughly enjoying it.
The appeal of "Life" is its seemingly natural blend of enthusiastic pop and smooth jazz. YOU MAKE ME BELIEVE sets the ball rolling with a lovely cheerful beat that, personally, makes me think of SNES and Mega Drive video games; and the minor-yet-clever use of (what it sounds like to me at least) a pan flute further imbeds old video game thoughts in my head. Within seconds of this track beginning you'll find your shoulders lightly but eagerly bobbing up and down. It's a clear tone setter for the rest of the album ahead.
SO MANY PEOPLE gets the message across that regardless of whom or what lives are being lived and how they are being lived, we all exist in the same universe. A thought-provoking message, but it's one that's presented with a lively drumbeat and equally lively saxophone. This is track is more than worth a few playthroughs. But the pick of the bunch on "Life" has to be FAIRGROUND, SR's one and only UK no.1 single. The whole track is basically an enjoyable trance; a trance where you allow each and every one of the song's instruments to massage your mind and help you visualize the positive aspects of the 90's. For me? The numerous cartoons on TV and the day out primary school trips among other things.
This album for the most part is excellent, but there were a couple of songs that didn't quite match up to the quality of those mentioned in the previous paragraph. SO BEAUTIFUL is a mellow piece with its main attraction being the use of organ-like notes. It does offer a different sound compared to the other songs, but for me it just doesn't work. It just sounds tedious. Meanwhile WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER has an African styled vibe to it, and sounds like something that might have been produced and used for The Lion King. It's quite uplifting, quite powerful. But again, I just wasn't feeling it in terms of wanting to listen to it over and over again.
Overall "Life" is a brilliant album to listen to. It's the sort of music you can listen to while you're trying to relax after a hard day's work, moving heavy boxes, carrying files up and down 200 flights of stairs, and shovelling ashes out of your boss' ash tray because he chooses to ignore the public indoor smoking ban...Or you can listen to it after downing a couple cans of Pepsi. In any case this a recommended purchase.