ALBUM REVIEW : LOVE AND THE RUSSIAN WINTER

Artist                                     :               SIMPLY RED

Genre                                   :               Pop

Date of Released             :               2005

In terms of musical output, Simply Red is one of the most consistent.  Mick Hucknail delivers the kind of music his loyal fans will listen to and buy.  Thus, it is always an exciting moment for the fans each time this pop group releases a new album.  Basically, his early records consisted of ballads, slow tempo, and danceable tunes.  In this record, it is expected that this consistency is ever present.

The first two songs “The Spirit of Life” and “Ain’t That A Lot of Life” are dance ditties which is quite surprising considering that his early albums usually started with slow or ballad songs.  “When I Look Into Your Eyes” is a typically song that you hear with Simply Red.  It has good melody and hook and of course soulful lyrics and vocal delivery.  In “The Sky Is A Gypsy,” the singer merely continued what he does that is giving listeners with some kind of a trippy song with jazzy feel.

The mood shifted back to dance tunes with “Back in The Universe.”  It is a dance tune where you can perform some ballroom dancing steps.  “Words For Girlfriends” started out boring and the guitar plucking background will make you continue to listen to this song but after several seconds you will find this song quite charming.  It is another song that will find its way in ambient music anthology; it is a very relaxing music indeed.

“Thank You” may sound like a Lenny Kravitz song due to the guitar riff provided in the introduction of the song.  But as soon as the vocals is delivered, you realized that Simply Red is very versatile as it can do pop, jazz, trip hop, ambient, and slow rock.  Yes, this song can be considered as slow rock though there are no wailings and screaming anywhere in the song.  It is 70’s groove with “Man Made The Gun” and this is the first time that he did this kind of thing.  He already had this kind of vibe in two of his early records.

One of the good things that you can say about Simply Red is that at times, they can manage to make would be boring songs quite pleasureable to listen to such as “Close To You.”  In more than a dream, you will notice that there is a bias towards reggae music. In fact, the records Simply Red churned out during 2000s period, has this element in each of the album released.  “Wave The Old World Goodbye” might be poetic in terms of lyrics, however, the melody is very generic.

As a whole, this is a beautiful record and fans will not be disappointed.  I rate this album 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Ratings Description:

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

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