Simply Red : Time Review
Simply Red’s Time: A Sonic Journey Through the Enduring Power of Soul
Simply Red’s Time is a living, breathing testament to the enduring power of soul, effortlessly threading together elements of funk, R&B, blues, and pop across twelve magnificent tracks. Mick Hucknall’s signature vocals, as soulful as ever, are the cornerstone, the beating heart that pumps vitality into every song.
The album sets the tone with “Better With You,” a soulful toe tapper that draws you in with its heartfelt melody and deep emotional resonance. Hucknall’s vocals are expressive and powerful, invoking the timeless allure of Simply Red’s signature sound. This track is a potent reminder that love has the power to transcend time and space, pulling us into its magical sphere of influence.
This magic continues with the funky soul number “Just Like You,” which explores themes of solitude and self-discovery. As Hucknall’s charismatic vocals dance on the thought-provoking lyrics, a special blend of soul, pop, and rock creates a timeless sound that is distinctly Simply Red. The standout bassline and horns beautifully highlight the band’s musical prowess.
Each track has its own personality, contributing to a rich sonic tapestry. From the party-starting “Let Your Hair Down” with its catchy melody and soulful guitar solo to the moodier and sensual “Shades 22,” which elegantly addresses the passage of time, every song is crafted to perfection.
But there’s much more to unpack here. Consider “It Wouldn’t Be Me,” a song about love and loss that strikes a chord deep within your heart or “Never Be Gone,” a poignant ode to grieving. From soulful ballads to the uplifting “Slapbang” and the environmentally conscious “Hey Mister,” the album effortlessly spans a gamut of emotions.
The reprisal, “Just Like You, Pt. 2,” delves into a funkier dimension, brandishing the band’s instrumental prowess with standout performances on the guitar, keyboard, saxophone, and trumpet. The rhythm section doesn’t linger in the shadows, instead putting up a commanding display that will have listeners tapping their feet and swaying in rhythm. This contrast between the two “Just Like You” tracks underlines the band’s versatility and adeptness.
The swing-infused “Butterflies” grapples with climate change, tying the album’s emotional exploration with a clear-eyed look at our world. This profound message is carried into the final track, “Earth in a Lonely Space,” a nostalgic number that exudes a strong seventies vibe and serves as a fitting closure to this rich sonic journey.
Time is Simply Red at its finest, a record that shows they’re not just a band that we listen to, but an experience that we live. It’s an embodiment of who they are – a band that has expertly weathered the Time, remaining not just relevant but also essential in our evolving musical landscape.
May 26, 2023