added: 14 Sep 2012
// release date: 24 Sep 2012 // label: Carrack UK
reviewer: David Spencer
Paul Carrack is one of those rare beasts in this world of celebrity culture, with no interest in fame and all its trimmings. And although he has a face that many people would not recognise, he has a voice that would trigger many memories. That’s because his career has seen him write and sing on a number one with Mike & the Mechanics (The Living Years) and on hits for The Eagles (Love Will Keep Us Alive) and Squeeze (Tempted).
Since the demise of the original Mike & the Mechanics, Carrack’s concentrated on his solo career, producing soulful albums of consistently impressively quality. But it has been more acclaimed than matched with singles hits, with only his own version of the Ace song How Long (that he wrote) making it to the edge of the top 30. Again inspired by classic soul, Good Feeling is his sixth proper album of new material since 1997 and changes gear from 2010’s A Different Hat, which saw him re-working songs with the help of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The twelve tracks are a mixture of new songs and cover versions and include co-writes with Squeeze’s Chris Difford on the uplifting Marmalade Moon and the songwriter Charlie Dore on the tribute to his hero Ray Charles, I Can Hear Ray. There is also Nick Lowe’s From Now On, which contains one of Carrack’s favourite lines; “Gonna do my level best to keep my nose clean.”
Bruce Springsteen’s If I Should Fall Behind also features, while Carrack’s vocal versatility is demonstrated on the jazz cover A Child Is Born. It is all very pleasant and safe, until the haunting Make It Right, which sees Carrack’s voice at its soulful best and is reminiscent of material recorded by former Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie. It was written by the Tinlin brothers, who have supported him on tour in recent years.
More songs with that kind of edge would help but once again the self produced album, with Carrack playing most of the instruments, underlines why he is a talent that the UK should treasure. Another solid set of songs from the Sheffield singer then, and possibly his best since 1997’s Beautiful Word.
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