PAUL YOUNG – Chronicles (2011)

PAUL YOUNG - Chronicles

Singer Paul Young, who sadly passed away just over a decade ago, was best know as one of the front men for ultra-superb soft rock outfit Mike And The Mechanics.

Although their other singer Paul Carrack stole most of the headlines, Young still recorded the excellent ‘All I Need Is a Miracle’ and more. Before joining MATM, Paul was also the vocalist with 1970s hitmakers Sad Café, famed for their track ‘Every Day Hurts’.

Young was to remain with Mike and the Mechanics with many hits under his built and tour the world until his untimely death in July 2000, following sudden heart failure.

A few years after he passed away, unfinished material he had been working on was recovered from his home studio, a total of thirty five songs, some of which have since been carefully recorded and completed by musician friends and collaborators who had known and worked with him… so now, after more than ten years, we are to hear these ‘new’ recordings for the very first time.

The first thing you realize here is the extremely high quality of the songwriting.

The sound is very much in the vein of his best-known work, meaning soft rock and pop-rock with a beautifully chilled vibe.

It’s a wonder it has taken until now to release this material, as there really are a load of superb tracks here. It’s going to be too mellow for some, but look beyond the easy listening veneer and there’s plenty of passion of sing-along brilliance bubbling away.

Best tracks are hard to pick because it’s all good. Paul’s serene voice is so moorish it’s all too easy to get lost in the album’s ambience.

On songs like “Grace Of God” (duet with Paul Carack) and “Everything” you hear the experience of one momentous musician, with one outstanding voice leading the way.

The modern and edgier vibe of “Here Comes The Future” features some nice arrangements unlike I have ever heard before, something ever progressive for the time when it was made.

The more mainstream number “We Did Nothing Wrong” displays a likable atmosphere in it’s rejoiced attitude undertones, featuring a nice sax solo per good measure.

The delightful soulful bliss of “I’m In Heaven Again” conjures a feeling of nostalgia as you feel as you are listening to a time-line of young’s life.

Other highlights are the rocking “Two Wrongs” and the stripped back “Water Now The Seed”.

I was really blown away by the quality of material on this exemplary release, of course these are some songs that Paul had been working on before he past away and years later recovered from his home studio, but the thoughtfulness of the people involved in this project to bring it to life is something to admire: renowned musicians such as Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart of 10cc, Victor Emerson and Ian Wilson of Sad Cafe, and of course Paul Carrack and Mike Rutherford of Mike and the Mechanics.

“Chronicles” is a celebration of his life that are carefully acclimated for a special laid back listening experience.

The soft nature of this album won’t appeal to everyone, but the quieter end of rock doesn’t get a lot better than this.

Highly, Highly Recommended.

01. House Of Many Nations

02. Your Shoes

03. Grace Of God (duet with Paul Carrack)

04. Loss Of Innocence

05. Frozen Heart

06. Two Wrongs

07. Water Now The Seed

08. Here Comes The Future

09. Everything

10. One Heart

11. We Did Nothing Wrong

12. I’m In Heaven Again

13. Everyday Hurts (Live with Mike and The Mechanics)

[bonus track with first pressing only]

Lead Vocals: Paul Young

Guitars: Mike Rutherford, Martin Kronlund, Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart, Michael byron Hehir, Victor Emerson, Ian Wilson

Keyboards: Alistair Gordon, Victor Emerson, Steve Pigott, Per Aronson, Paul Carrack, Eric Stewart

Bass: Des Tong, Martin Kronlund, Graham Gouldman

Drums: Dave Irving

Saxophone: Lenni

Backing Vocals: Alistair Gordon, Carl Davis, Ian Wilson, Steve Butler, Sue Quin, Mark Menzies, Graham Gouldman

Programming: Steve Pigott


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