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Mike + The Mechanics: The Road

One of the more unlikely comebacks of 2011 has to be the resurrection of Mike & The Mechanics, dormant now for some seven years. Clearly bored with the Genesis re-issue projects Mike Rutherford has decided to re-ignite his moderately successful side project, despite being unable to call on the distinguished vocal talents of the two Paul's Young and Carrack. The former sadly passed away in 2000 whereas the latter has decided his stint as a Mechanic has run its course. So who has Rutherford turned to as replacements...Ray Wilson, perhaps? Not a chance. Instead we have Andrew Roachford, the R&B singer who enjoyed a couple of minor hits in the late 80's and Canadian Tim Howar, best known for treading the boards in musical theatre.

Despite this unlikely sounding combination The Road is by no means a bad album. Lightweight, pedestrian and underwhelming it may be but then aside from "The Living Years" and maybe "Silent Running" the Mechanics have never been a band that pushed musical boundaries and demanded your attention. So what we have here is eleven easy listening tunes with half a dozen of them lifted above the mediocre largely by Roachford's soulful and engaging delivery, most notably the jaunty title track and lead single "Reach Out (Touch The Sun)". For the most part Howar takes a back seat although that is set to change when the band embarks on their upcoming tour and he handles the songs previously voiced by Young. Nevertheless, his breathless vocals do come across well on the melancholic "Oh No" and aching ballad "Heaven Doesn't Care" (that also features a "Living Years" esque choir section).

Rutherford's guitar work is typically understated throughout and overall The Road is very much a warm sounding album that simply never threatens to explode into life. Neither a sparkling return nor an unmitigated disaster, this is about as middle of the road as it gets.

Track Listing
01. The Road 04:22
02. Reach Out (Touch The Sun) 04:04
03. Try To Save Me 03:48
04. Background Noise 04:18
05. I Don t Do Love 04:37
06. Heaven Doesn't Care 03:39
07. It Only Hurts For A While 04:12
08. Walking On Water 03:43
09. Hunt You Down 03:47
10. Oh No 04:19
11. You Can Be 05:18

Added: April 24th 2011
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2209
Language: english

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