Friday, December 9, 2016

Paul Carrack-Still Groovin' (2002)


Yep—I'm still groovin' along with more of my favorite tunes. But rather than forging onward with further selections from the 'S' entries in my music library, I decided to reconnect with the British contemporary soul legend, Paul Carrack, whom I've adored ever since his days of fronting MIKE & THE MECHANICS on such memorable childhood hits as "The Living Years", "All I Need Is A Miracle" and "Word Of Mouth". Among his solo accomplishments that had been long missing from my possession was this special 18-track compilation of covers. No remakes of familiar favorites from the 80's this time around; instead, Paul takes on an elite league of golden oldies from the 60's and 70's, which is absolutely fine for someone like me who'd just be happy listening to his voice performing whatever song is on his heart to sing. Besides that fact, I had even found myself in the mood for something of the easy-listening variety, which is a guarantee when I pick up something with the name Paul Carrack attached to it. I could have began groovin' from the album's proper beginning, but I couldn't help but to jump around to all of the ones I readily recognized and have loved for years. "You've Got A Friend": It's always a pleasure to hear somebody take on the Carole King classic; Paul's especially soothing rendition does it all the justice in the world). " Baby I Need Your Lovin' ": And equally always a pleasure to hear THE FOUR TOPS get attributed to with their Motown original being redone; Paul's sweet, mellowed rendition is almost too short and sweet, which has prompted at least one replay and potentially more. "I Wish It Would Rain": Had initially thought it was the Phil Collins ht "I Wish It Would Rain Down", but then I quickly realized it was the same beauty of a song I'd heard before by Danish pop group, 4OUR LIKE US. So now the question is, who sung the original then? I'll have to find out, but for now, I could deem this groovin' Paul Carrack remake to be my latest 'Music Surprise of The Day'. "Walk On By": Even with the trippy, funky musical arrangement, this old-school classic—one that's grown on me well over the years—still retains that magical, starry feeling; I can always hear Dionne Warwick's elegant voice delivering the words on her own version. "Sunny": This gem a song is not as memorable to be as the aforementioned ones, but I'm sure I've heard in in a few places, whether it be through old movie productions or just from casual listening. The way the chords increase in pitch as the hazy, dreamy instrumental grooves gracefully swing along song moves along, that single declaration of 'sunny' at the beginning of every chorus, the words of ' you're my one and only desire '—it all triggered something that I'd heard before in the past. "Crazy Love": These mellowed, aching love songs have a way of melting into my every senses; it's actually crazy that I couldn't recall the original singer to save the life of me! "Too Busy Thinkin' Bout My Baby": this very respectable cover of the late Marvin Gaye's warming contribution to popular soul music puts a smile on my face, as does the title track " Groovin' " itself, whose opening words (and what he says about groovin' on a Sunday afternoon and on a crowded avenue) are a real delight on the ears. Collectively, these 18 tracks felt like an appetizing tease to me—the music seemed to be all eaten up before getting to the main course&mash;but it's all good, taking into consideration the talent and the voice behind every one of them that's served up:

1. Harvest For The World
2. Sunny
3. Too Busy Thinkin' Bout My Baby
4. Crazy Love
5. Baby I Need Your Lovin'
6. Walk On By
7. What Does It Take?
8. Anyday Now
9. Cover Me
10. With You In Mind
11. Ain't No Sunshine
12. Groovin'
13. You've Got A Friend
14. Into The Mystic
15. People Get Ready
16. Warm And Tender Love
17. It's Growing
18. I Wish It Would Rain

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