ALBUM REVIEW : STAY
Artist : Simply Red
Genre : Pop / Ballad/ Jazz
Date Released : 2017
It is hard to believe that Simply Red still existed up to this time. This only proved once again that you can rely on talent with less scandal to boot. Mick Hucknall wrote music or songs like no other can. He wrote about emotions and good lyrics with easy listening melodies. Thus, many of his songs are frequently heard in many elevators or establishments with piped in music. In other words, he sings safe songs.
It is totally that Simply Red will do cover versions like they did previously in many of their albums, that the group will only entertain songs that are feel good, and will not risks with new sounds like EDM. Apparently, the trick works in this album. The first in this record, “The World And You Tonight” proves this point. It has all the elements of an ideal Simply Red song; whispering and throaty vocals, good musical hook, endearing lyrics, and passionate delivery. Thus, you cannot help conclude in the second song sounds like any song they did before’ “So Not Over You” has the same feel with their own cover of Aretha Franklin’s hit called “Angel.” The song has a memorable line that you want to repeat over and over again; “cause everywhere I go there’s always love song that reminds me of you.”
The title song will definitely delight the band’s fans as it sounds like stuff they did in their previous album STARS. Fortunately, they named it “Stay” instead of the lyrics frequently heard in the song; “just the way you are.” Bubblegum pop is exploited unexpectedly in this album with the song “They Don’t Know.” It is a good song for lovers to sing along together. “Oh, What A Girl” is another song that sounds like any Motown records which Simply Red has exploited over the years thus, they have lots of cover version from Motown groups. In fact, one of their greatest hits was “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.”
“Good Times Have Done Me Wrong” could have been an excellent title for a rock song. And it is even better as a rock song when you hear the first stanza lyrics,
“I drank a lot
Spent too much
Gave a lot, screwed up a lot
Now good times, you’ve done me wrong, so wrong.”
He could have experimented making a rock and jazz fusion record like “Debris.” This is song is not out of place in the whole album even though that it sounds like a Neil Young ballad. What you have in “Debris” is Neil Young hanging out with The Fugees.
You must remember that there are two popular songs titled “Lady”; Lionel Ritchie and Kenny Rogers versions. Thus, you cannot help but compare Simply Red’s song of similar title with those of the two versions. Yes, it is another song dedicated to your lady but this time, it is quite verbose. “Money TV” finally give in to the demand of rock and jazz fusion. It sounds like a jazz record and a little bit of “Blur.” In fact, it even sounds a little bit like Blur song, the one that has a video with a carton of milk roaming around your RV screen. “The Death of A Cool” initially sounds like a filler song, but as you listen to it all the way, the song progresses well; maybe it is because of the lyrics:
“Quotes like ‘Buddy I blew you up, gave you a condom’
Do you really need to learn to save a human?
We could all be blamed”
The album ended with “Little Englander” which is the real album filler in this record. Alright, the album has only one filler song, and the rest of the songs are either good or okay, then there is no doubt that this is a good record not just for any Simply Red fans but for every listeners out there. I rate this record 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.
1 star = Ignore it
2 stars= risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 = buy, keep, and treasure it