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Mike + The Mechanics
"Mike + The Mechanics"

© Atlantic Records

Year of Release: 1985

track listing
  • Silent Running
  • All I Need Is A Miracle
  • Par Avion
  • Hanging By A Thread
  • I Get The Feeling
  • Take THe Reins
  • You Are The One
  • A Call To Arms
  • Taken In

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    Mike + The Mechanics
    "Mike + The Mechanics"

    Mike + The Mechanics was a solo project band by Genesis member Mike Rutherford. With Rutherford on guitar, his Mechanics featured two prominent lead vocalists: Paul Carrack, who at one time teamed up with the group Squeeze, and was featured vocalist on their most remembered hit, Tempted. The other was Paul Young (not the same Paul Young who had the #1 hit Everytime You Go Away).

    Their 1985 self-titled debut album features two smash hits that received a huge share of radio airplay: Silent Running and All I Need Is A Miracle, which are two very well recorded songs.

    Par Avion definitely has the Genesis/Phil Collins sound, likewise the mood of the song could pass as another former member of Genesis, Peter Gabriel's late-1980s material. Hanging On A Thread starts out as a theatrical song, as in a song recorded by Electric Light Orchestra. The vocals kick in, and as this song is more focused on a harder rock edge than the previous three songs heard on this album, it also passes as a Genesis/Phil Collins rocker, as heard on Genesis' self-titled album from 1983.

    I Get The Feeling has a more pop feel, that features horns, and again, it has a more pop sound than anything else. Take The Reins is another rocker, and it defines a different sound for the group, as comparing their sound to past Genesis work.

    You Are The One returns the group to a pop mellow sound, as this song is compared to Peter Cetera and Chicago (likewise a Phil Collins solo ballad), with it's smooth piano and soft arrangements and vocals.

    A Call To Arms starts out as theatrical (as in Hanging On A Thread) and resembles the Peter Gabriel days of Genesis; it has a more progressive rock sound, with just a small taste of pop. The album closes with a pop number that also received quite a bit of radio airplay, Taken In.

    All in all, Mike + The Mechanics is a very well done album. Mike Rutherford proved that he can design his own musical style, as well as keeping his previous band's sound and style intact. The vocals on this album also makes the album quite enjoyable, likewise the instrumental arrangements, such as synthesizers (which was big at the time in the mid-to-late 1980s), and some songs having a more theatrical sound.

    For the Genesis fan, Mike + The Mechanics will be enjoyable. There's no mistake that this band could pass as another Genesis, but Phil Collins made Genesis a household name than former lead singer Peter Gabriel. And, both Collins and Gabriel have achieved great success with their solo releases. Now, Genesis has a new lead singer, and Phil Collins' shoes will be pretty hard to fill. Of course, that was said when Peter Gabriel left the group. I doubt if Genesis could bounce back into the limelight as Phil Collins and Company took Genesis to new heights, but then again, it will be something if history does repeat itself, if the new Genesis continues making records.

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