He writes about his life, his family, and his fears in this 12-track album, utilizing a variety of different sounds – funk, soul, blues, and jazz.
Better With You – about his wife, Gabriella – is a clever, subtle pop that has its roots in the 1960s. Just Like You, built on a sweet, funky bass groove, takes us back to the ’70s.
Later, Just Like You (Part 2) gives you even more breathing room with a sweet break by Japanese guitar maestro Kenji Suzuki.
Hucknall’s voice hasn’t lost any of its charm. It soars on the dreamy chorus of Let Your Hair Down, as Gavin Goldberg’s guitar takes us into Ernie Isley territory.
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The 22 shades are almost magnetically subtle and they’re so pretty. Slapbang is a harmonica-infused pop guitarist.
There’s social commentary, too. Hey Mister, with a funky feel, finds Hucknall berating Fatty “on a gravy train in a world of acid rain,” adding, “When you’re done with your complaining, do something about our system failing.”
Speaking about the show’s very long Jazz, he said, “Democracy is in great decline? Democracy is great, great, but do you really care?”
He plays lead guitar on Never Be Gone, an emotional ballad about losing a loved one, and tells us to “trust in the rainbows of time, they’ll never go away”.
Daughter Romy’s Jazzy Butterflies come complete with Wurlitzer producer Andy Wright.
The closer we get to Earth In A Lonely Space, it starts off like prog-folk, then recalls the Beatles and Bowie. The message – look at what you have and make it better – is a good one.
There may be no new stars on Simply Red’s thirteenth album but everything about it radiates class.