Simply Red - Simplified (2005)

Simply Red
SimplyRed-Simplified.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

After a few years releasing his albums independently, Mick Hucknall has come back to a major label with Simplified, released on the recently aggressive Verve label (now the home of a number of great adult-oriented singers like Will Downing, Aaron Neville and Lizz Wright).  The concept for Simplified is in the title: take some of Simply Red's biggest hits, strip them down and provide alternate, largely acoustic arrangements.  And the experiment largely works.  There is a significant Latin influence throughout Simplified, especially on the cover of "Something Got Me Started" and the hot "Perfect Love," one of the three new songs on the disc and probably the album's finest moment.  Even more prevalent, however, is a light, piano-led ethereal feel, most notably on "Your Mirror," "Fairground" and "For Yo

After a few years releasing his albums independently, Mick Hucknall has come back to a major label with Simplified, released on the recently aggressive Verve label (now the home of a number of great adult-oriented singers like Will Downing, Aaron Neville and Lizz Wright).  The concept for Simplified is in the title: take some of Simply Red's biggest hits, strip them down and provide alternate, largely acoustic arrangements.  And the experiment largely works.  There is a significant Latin influence throughout Simplified, especially on the cover of "Something Got Me Started" and the hot "Perfect Love," one of the three new songs on the disc and probably the album's finest moment.  Even more prevalent, however, is a light, piano-led ethereal feel, most notably on "Your Mirror," "Fairground" and "For Your Babies."  Within this generally soft mode, the rest of the disc covers a variety of sounds, including lounge ("My Perfect Love"), jazz ("Sad Old Red") and acoustic soul ("Holding Back the Years"), only faltering badly on "Smile," an ill-advised torch ballad that is a bad fit for Hucknall's voice. 

While casual Simply Red fans may do better to grab one of the group's greatest hits albums, for Red-o-philes Simplified provides a fresh, generally softer new view of some of the band's best cuts, and is a worthwhile addition to the Simply Red catalog.  

CR

 
Song of the Month - Kea Michaels - "Not My Friend"
Featured Album - Nichelle Colvin - Welcome to Gary
Featured Album - Rahsaan Patterson - Heroes & Gods

Leave a comment!