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Pop - Released April 5, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

Out of the Blue finds Mike + The Mechanics -- which, in 2019, claims Mike Rutherford as its only original member -- revisiting their catalog with the assistance of their 2010s vocalists Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar. The party line behind Out of the Blue is that the group discovered new ways of playing old songs while on tour supporting 2017's Let Me Fly, so they decided to head into the studio to document these versions. They added three new songs to the mix -- "One Way," "What Would You Do," and "Out of the Blue" all gleaming and crisp adult contemporary pop, all bunched toward the beginning of the record -- and they function as proof that the group still exists in the living years. They're needed, since the new versions of the big hits -- "All I Need Is a Miracle," "Silent Running," and "The Living Years" chief among them -- are odd combinations of vintage synths, stiff modern electronics, and excessively soulful singing that don't quite gel into a convincing reinterpretation. Out of the Blue is hardly bad -- these guys are pros, they know how not to embarrass themselves -- but it feels superfluous, a curious footnote instead of a satisfying coda. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released April 7, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd

Let Me Fly is the second album from the latter-day incarnation of Mike + the Mechanics, the one featuring Andrew Roachford and Tim Howar splitting lead vocal duties. By this point, any of Mike Rutherford's lingering prog influences are long gone, leaving a streamlined and polished professional pop group. Even when the pace quickens and the arrangements sparkle, the affair seems subdued and, to that end, Roachford never quite gets the chance to stretch his chops. Then again, virtuosity isn't the name of the game here: this is gleaming mature pop, music for well-tailored moods and, to that end, it succeeds. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 18, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd

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
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Pop - Released March 4, 1996 | Rhino Atlantic

All of Mike + the Mechanics' biggest hits are included on the 13-track Hits collection. Though there are a fair share of non-hits and mediocre album tracks, Hits is a first-rate compilation, giving the casual fan all of the essential Mike + the Mechanics tracks, from "Silent Running (On Dangerous Ground)" and "All I Need Is a Miracle '96" to "The Living Years." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released March 29, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

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Pop - Released February 20, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

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Pop - Released October 28, 1988 | Rhino Atlantic

With The Living Years, Mike + the Mechanics firmly established themselves in the adult contemporary genre after the mid-'80s pop of their debut. Slickly produced with rich vocals from Paul Carrack and Paul Young, The Living Years moves smoothly between anthemic ballads such as the title track and more upbeat numbers such as "Seeing Is Believing." The band even shows a trace of Mike Rutherford's prog rock roots with Genesis on the epic-like "Why Me?" When the bandmembers try their hands at funk, as on "Don't," or harder rock, as on "Black and Blue," they sound quite out of their element. But on midtempo tracks with Rutherford's trademark bubbly bass (such as "Nobody's Perfect" and "Beautiful Day") and on the infectious "Poor Boy Down," the group displays a soulfulness that many in the genre lack, even while there is a distinct lack of individuality present in their musicianship. ~ Geoff Orens
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Pop - Released October 5, 1985 | Rhino Atlantic

With all of it's members exercising their expertise, the debut album from Mike + the Mechanics posted two Top Ten singles in the span of three months. The songwriting comes out on top before anything else, with the somber stir of "Silent Running," the album's first release, peaking at number six. "All I Need Is a Miracle" followed at number five, with it's Genesis-like tempo and polished chorus, and even "Taken In" cracked the Top 40, a simple ballad that's bettered by Paul Young's genuine emotional charm. Carrack sounds just as sharp as he did with Ace or Squeeze throughout the album's nine tracks, while Rutherford's overseeing of the entire project is apparent. While Mike Rutherford's guitar work isn't overwhelming, both his six-string and bass guitar contributions complete a sound foundation for the vocals. The mood setting drum work of Peter Van Hooke and the keyboard fills from Adrian Lee play a large part in setting the album's tone, and add some pop zest to the majority of the tracks. Even though their next album gave Mike + the Mechanics a number one hit with the darkened "Living Years," their debut reflects a more compliant sound in every aspect. ~ Mike DeGagne
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Pop - Released March 8, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

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Rock - Released February 28, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd

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Pop - Released March 6, 1995 | Rhino Atlantic

Mike + the Mechanics found themselves with faltering sales for Word of Mouth and for good reason, too; much of the album was filled with formulaic ballads and mediocre writing. With Beggar on a Beach of Gold, Mike Rutherford helped confront this problem by extending the songwriting duties, writing with Paul Carrack and producer Christopher Neil, as well as continuing his collaboration with B.A. Robertson. Thus, songs such as the upbeat numbers "Over My Shoulder" and "Another Cup of Coffee" effectively push past the band's formula with the musicians sounding looser than on previous records. "Plain and Simple" even has some loud guitars. Lyrically, the band has extended themselves as well. "The Ghost of Sex and You" and "Someone Always Hates Someone" approach serious questions about life and relationships without succumbing to adult contemporary clichés. The production has also nicely updated Mike and the Mechanics' sound with electronic loops and keyboard effects, adding a spring to the band's step. While such safe nods to electronica will not impress many younger fans, it should excite the group's core audience, which is a bit older. In the end, although the band does not completely avoid bland material here, this is a surprisingly nice creative turn in the road for a group many counted out. ~ Geoff Orens
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Pop - Released September 13, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Rewired is a fine record, a mix of pop/rock synth-orchestrated balladry that favorably recalls both the mid-'70s work of Genesis and the more pop-focused work of Phil Collins -- Paul Carrack's singing is excellent, and Mike Rutherford and Robbie McIntosh's playing (and Rutherford's programming) are seamless and always interesting; only when Rupert Cobb takes over the programming, on "Perfect Child," does the music veer a little too far out of rock and into the pop category, but the interlude is forgivable and the song is pretty enough to carry off the switch in mood. ~ Bruce Eder
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Pop - Released March 22, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (UK) Limited

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Pop - Released April 2, 1991 | Rhino Atlantic

Atlantic Records had reason to think they had a sure thing on their hands in the 1991 release of Mike + the Mechanics' third album, Word of Mouth. Here was a band with solid Top 40 pedigree, led by a guitarist/bassist with Genesis credentials (Mike Rutherford) and featuring not one but two vocalists with dozens of successful songs under their belts (Paul Carrack and Paul Young). The band had already recorded two hit albums and even scored a number one hit in "The Living Years." The new record led off with two killer pop songs -- the opening "Get Up," with its adrenaline-inducing piano runs and catchy chorus, and the rousing singalong title track. But within a few months of its release, Word of Mouth had already been banished to the discount racks and budget bins of nearly every record store in the English-speaking world. So what happened? It may be that music consumers had caught wind of the mediocre keyboard-based pop ballads that filled out the rest of the album. Songs like "A Time and Place," "Everybody Gets a Second Chance," and "Let's Pretend It Didn't Happen" are anemic lite-rock anthems that even Phil Collins would have passed on. Chances are, fans stayed away from this one because the word of mouth just wasn't good. ~ Evan Cater