A few weeks ago we reviewed Paul Carrack’s new album “Good Feeling” here on MusicRiot and we loved it. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you really should. If you want to hear the songs live, Paul and his band are just about to start a UK tour running through October and November. Support on all dates will be the excellent Tinlin.
If you want to see Paul before that, BBC4 are showing an hour-long profile on Friday October 12 (10 pm) as part of an evening of Squeeze-related shows.
Tuesday 16 October Derby, Assembly Rooms
Friday 19 October Worthing, Assembly Hall
Saturday 20 October Bournemouth, Pavilion
Monday 22 October Northampton, Derngate
Thursday 25 October Scunthorpe, Baths Hall
Friday 26 October York, Barbican
Monday 29 October Southend, Cliffs Pavilion
Tuesday 30 October Ipswich, Regent
Wednesday 31 October London, Indigo 2
Wednesday 7 November Llandudno, North Wales Theatre
Thursday 8 November New Brighton, Floral Pavilion
Sunday 11 November Eastbourne, Congress Theatre
Monday 12 November Swindon, Wyvern Theatre
Tuesday 13 November Swansea, Grand Theatre
Friday 16 November Preston, Charter Theatre
Saturday 17 November Leamington Spa, Royal Spa Centre
Thursday 22 November Crawley, The Hawth
Friday 23 November Southampton, The Brook
Wednesday 28 November Harrogate, Royal Hall
If there’s one thing that I really admire in musicians it’s the ability to survive; to come through the periods when you’re terminally unhip and still want to play, write and sing. It needs incredible self-belief and, sometimes, sheer bloody-mindedness (before we even talk about talent) to keep going in an increasingly tough business. If you’ve been writing, performing and recording for over 40 years and you’ve had a hand in songs as diverse as Ace’s “How Long”, Squeeze’s “Tempted” and Mike & The Mechanics’ “The Living Years” and The Eagles have covered one of your songs, then you deserve at least a fair hearing. So, Paul Carrack’s back again in 2012 and he’s sounding better than ever.
There are no bad, or even indifferent, tracks on “Good Feeling”; they’re all good and there’s stacks of variety in the in the styles and arrangements of the songs, but one thing makes this collection essential listening. Paul Carrack still has an astonishingly soulful voice; my good mate Steve J reckons he could sing the telephone directory and you would pay to listen and I don’t think he’s far off the mark. On top of that, he’s a great Hammond player and there aren’t many better instruments to accompany a great soul voice. The songs on this collection are a combination of Paul Carrack originals, collaborations with other writers and covers of songs by writers as diverse as Nick Lowe, Bruce Springsteen and Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It’s a great tribute to Carrack’s songwriting that his own songs are as strong as the covers although the best song on the album (my opinion here) isn’t one of his own, although it’s a great pick from a relatively unknown band.
The album opens with the Sam Cooke-tinged “Good Feelin’ About It” which, unsurprisingly, is a feelgood song and it’s followed by the Chris Difford collaboration “Marmalade Moon” bursting in with a horn section which wouldn’t sound out of place on a Southside Johnny album. The album flits effortlessly between musical styles, from the laid-back funk of “Nothing Without You” to the early Motown feel (including Stevie Wonder style harmonica) of “Time to Move On” to the pure 60s pop of the Goffin/King cover “When My Little Girl is Smiling”, which is very reminiscent of his 80s cover of the Jackie de Shannon classic “When You Walk in the Room”. The Nick Lowe and Bruce Springsteen covers (“From Now On” and “If I Should Fall Behind” respectively) both evoke the original performers while bearing the stamp of Paul Carrack’s incredible voice.
In my (almost) humble opinion, there are 2 songs which define the album and push it out of the Paul Carrack comfort zone. “Make It Right” is a cover of a lovely Tinlin brothers song with lots of minor chords and a slightly discordant riff, while “Long Ago” (a collaboration with Swedish songwriter Chris Antblad) could be a Brian Kennedy boy band single, but with grown-up lyrics. Any album of songs by Paul Carrack is going to be worth listening to, but these 2 songs take “Good Feeling” in a slightly different direction, introducing a hint of atonality on the one hand and a pop sensibility on the other.
If you’ve never heard of Paul Carrack, this is a cracking introduction and if you’re already converted, “Good Feeling” might just give you a few surprises. Great album.
Release date 24/09/12.