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Album Review

Following the death of Paul Young and the departure of Paul Carrack, Mike + the Mechanics' only original member, Mike Rutherford, returns with a brand-new lineup for The Road, their first studio album since 2004's Rewired. Perhaps indicative of the talents of their two former vocalists, the former Genesis guitarist has brought in three different frontmen to fill their shoes: Canadian performer Tim Howar, who played Rod Stewart in the musical Tonight's the Night; South African singer/songwriter Arno Carstens, who left during its recording to pursue his solo career; and, most famously, Andrew Roachford, who scored several hits in the late '80s/early '90s with his funk-rock band namesake. It's a shame that the latter's heartfelt soulful vocals aren't utilized more often, as his six contributions are by far the strongest, whether it's the soaring pop/rock of "Try to Save Me," the gospel-tinged title track, or the driving AOR of "Walking on Water." While the rest of the album may provide a few more interesting twists to their trademark MOR acoustic sound, the other two vocalists can't match his impassioned tones. "Heaven Doesn't Care" echoes the anthemic quality of their U.S. number one "The Living Years" with its uplifting children's choir, while "Oh No" is a subtle slice of understated dance-pop, but both are beaten into submission by Howar's overblown tones, which struggle to leave his musical theater background behind, while Carstens appears to sleepwalk his way through the old-fashioned country-pop of "Hunt You Down" and the suitably titled "Background Noise." Even by Mike + the Mechanics' easy listening standard, The Road may be just a little too pedestrian, but there's still enough potential here to suggest that if they promote Roachford to full-time status next time round, they can survive the absence of their two former leading men. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Welcome return

A really terrific album featuring three great vocal talents. Fantastic stuff & it's so good that Mike's still in the business of making music. A bit of a publicity drive & radio play would make this a worldwide hit - deservedly so.

Mike and the mechanics? Are u sure

Well I've been a mechanics fan since about 1993. An this is the first album I brought, where I have actually regretted it. Most of the tracks sound like some kind of Emo rubbish, none of the classic upbeat, soul type songs we are used to. An Paul Carrack???? A mike an the mechanics album with no Paul carrack...... Come on Paul I know u think your off being successful as a solo artist, but u should have been straight into this album, as it stands it should be re-named. Mike and some guys you've never heard of, singing songs you won't remember.


This isn't Mike and The Mechanics, the original line-up will never happen again and out if respect, it should stay that way.


Formed: 1985

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While Phil Collins was pursuing his solo career in 1985, Genesis bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford formed the pop/rock band Mike + the Mechanics. Featuring Rutherford (bass), former Ace and Squeeze member Paul Carrack (vocals, keyboards), ex-Sad Cafe member Paul Young (vocals), keyboardist Adrian Lee, and drummer Peter Van Hooke, the group released its self-titled first album late in 1985. The record produced two Top Ten hit singles, "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)" and "All I Need Is a Miracle,"...
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The Road, Mike + The Mechanics
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Customer Ratings