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Mick is Simply Red, white and blue

mick hucknall

American Soul

(Warner Bros)


He may have a 30-year career in the business, but this, remarkably, is the Simply Red frontman's debut solo album.

It doesn't stray far from the type of material Hucknall does best -- soul songs that are well suited to his big, belter of a voice -- and this album of covers of American standards and more contemporary compositions will certainly appeal to anyone who feels there's a gaping Simply Red-shaped hole in their lives.

I'd Rather Go Blind -- the desperately sad song made famous by Etta James -- works well in Hucknall's hands.

His sensitive rendition of the 1934 song, I Only Have Eyes for You, impresses and he captures the playfulness of Baby What Do You Want Me to Do with great elan.

But fans of the singular Antony Hegarty are likely to be appalled by the thought of the ginger Mancunian strangulating the masterful Hope There's Someone. Really, some songs are so special that they should be left alone.

KEY TRACKS I'd Rather Go Blind; I Only Have Eyes for You

Day & Night