Apparently not content to let Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel hog all the radio and MTV glory in the mid '80s, Genesis' Mike Rutherford formed Mike and the Mechanics as his own busman's holiday band. What's surprising is that 1985's MIKE AND THE MECHANICS is actually a pretty good album, better than much of the commercial AOR pop of its era.
Co-led by a great pair of journeyman soul singers, Paul Carrack and the late Paul Young (the former leader of Sad CafT, not the "Everytime You Go Away" pretty boy), the Mechanics got down to business, crafting an album of extremely catchy and atmospheric pop songs. Carrack sings "Silent Running," while Young leads the album's two hits, the ultra-poppy "All I Need is a Miracle," and the more soulful "Taken In." The spare ballad "Par Avion" is another Carrack highlight. Though other Mechanics albums followed, the first is still the best.
Q (7/99, p.110) - 4 stars (out of 5) - "...it's all perfect, and not even annoyingly perfect....it's possible to wish they'd forget about creating perfection and just rock out for the hell of it, but that's really not what Mike & The Mechanics could ever be about..."
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