Out Of The Blue - the new album by Mike & The Mechanics reviewed by Alan Hewitt.
So here we are once more with a new album by The Mechanics to review. This one is slightly different to any that have preceded it however. You can read Mike’s explanation of the reason to only release three new songs this time round in the interview we did with him elsewhere in this edition. So, I will focus on the music itself.
The album opens with the three new cuts and if you have had the pleasure of seeing the band at any of their recent gigs you will have had the opportunity of hearing them in advance of the album’s release. This makes hearing their studio counterparts an even more revealing process than usual as if the song doesn’t cut the mustard live, then the chances are that it will not do so in the studio either. Fortunately these three tracks are cast in the solid Mechanics mould. One Way and Out Of The Blue are delivered in typically soulful fashion by Andrew Roachford and are both excellent.
What Would You Do, was previously aired during the band’s Hits tour in 2015 but obviously Mike thought it needed some revision. Now we have a jaunty, rocker delivered in fine style by Tim (The Power) Howar. Whilst none of these songs will ever scale the heights of some of their predecessors, they do, nevertheless, fit very snugly into the canon of melodic rock which is The Mechanics’ niche these days.
The rest of the first disc of the album is made up of Mechanics classic tracks re-recorded featuring the current line up. A very clever idea this one, as it cements the new band’s credentials in the minds of fans who might not attend gigs. What you get on tracks such as Beggar…, Get Up and Silent Running are not total re-writes of the originals but feature the new stamp that the band have put on them. Neither Roachford or Howar attempt to imitate their predecessors, but nonetheless great respect is paid to the originals throughout as indeed it is if you see these songs performed by the current lineup on stage.
The second disc of the deluxe edition is where things get slightly more interesting still. Opening with two tracks from the band’s last studio album: 2017’s Let Me Fly, both Don’t Know What Came Over Me and The Best Is Yet To Come sound exactly like they would during the recording process, stripped back to the basic elements of guitar/voice or piano/voice . Here you get the closest you possibly can without being in the room with the band!
The same goes for the rest of the classics such as Beggar… and Over My Shoulder all of which are given the same stripped back approach. All in all, this is another extremely useful addition to the Mechanics’ canon of work. The brand is now well established in the public’s mind and should bode well for any future project that the band may choose to embark upon. In the meantime, let’s enjoy Out Of The Blue.