Friday, March 25, 2011

PAUL YOUNG: "Chronicles"

Rating: 7/10

Label: Escape 2011

Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Attention! Not to be confused with the Paul Young of the eighties pop charts. Then again, why not? since it's poppy rock on display and we're talking about the late and great Paul (R.I.P.) of Mike and The Mechanics, Sad Cafe and Gyro. It's however not the same bloke which gave us hits such as "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" and many other softies (well, it's actually a Marvin Gaye tune, but nevermind). This particular Paul become a full time member of Mike and The Mechanics in 1985 and was to remain with the band with many hits under his built and tour the world until his sudden heart failure and death in the year 2000.

"Chronicles" is a retrospective look at some of the lost goodies. A few year after Paul passed away, unfinished material he had been working on was recovered from his home studio, some of which have been recorded and completed by musician friends and collaborators. There's a fine duet with Paul Carrack of Mike and The Mechanics (the song: Grace Of God) and other musicians that lends a hand are among others: Mike Rutherford (of course), Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart (10 CC), Ian Wilson and Victor Emerson (Sad Cafe), etc.

It's a very slick and professional music affair with the rather typical signature of Mr. Young. Granted not the most original sounding CD out there, and yes, there's a clear reference to the Sad Cafe and Mechanics. But so what? the result is still quite pleasing and you won't end up too disappointed by the ultra soft melodies. Tracks such as "House Of Many Nations", "You Shoes", Two Wrongs", "Everything", etc. are all winners in the laidback category of things. Nicely done.

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