MIKE & THE MECHANICS & PAUL CARRACK Rewired (Virgin ) (Release date 31 May 2004)
Mike And The Mechanics was always ever a "side-project" for Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford, but with several single and album
successes it became more than enough to pay the rent. Sadly original co-vocalist Paul Young is no longer with us, so Paul Carrack
is left to carry the torch in the vocal department, and significantly now has joint billing. Carrack is one of our best vocalists but his
own solo career has been low key.
Is this another Paul Carrack album, with a bit of grunge? Well, not quite. It does contain the expected quota of plaintive and
persuasive ballads, a paean for all forty-somethings who may trot along to HMV with their gift voucher and believe they still like "rock" music. The only
chinks of light on this album are the two instrumentals, the grinding 'Rewired' and the closing piece 'Underscore'. These demonstrate that Mike and his men
have at least been listening to developments in music since circa 1990.
In between, the album is inoffensive but Carrack and co hardly break sweat, save perhaps for the opener 'One Left Standing' which has the requisite urgency that is sadly lacking elsewhere.
This is an album that plays safe and plays to its audience. An album for accountants.
Review by David Randall