Mike + The Mechanics
Let Me Fly
Release Date: April 7, 2017
When Mike Rutherford created his Mechanics back in 1985, one never would believe that 32 years later, the group would still be releasing quality material. Yes, the vocalists have changed (Paul Young died of a heart attack in 2000 and Paul Carrack left the band in the mid 2000s), the sound is more soulful, but the music is still as good as it was when they were releasing hit after hit in the late 1980s.
Today, Mike + The Mechanics features two vocalists, a British soul stylist in Andrew Roachford who I first became a fan of when his band Roachford released their debut in 1988. The LP didn’t get much airplay or any airplay in America, but the album was perfect British Soul, “Cuddly Toy” was an infectious groove. Andrew Roachford has brought that talent to Mike + The Mechanics and leads some great songs on Let Me Fly including: “Let Me Fly,” “Save The World,” “The Letter,” “I’ll Be There For You” and “Save My Soul.” The second vocalist, Tim Howar, is an actor who has performed in many London versions of Broadway musicals. He takes lead vocal duties on only a few songs with the best being “Are You Ready,” “The Best Is Yet to Come” and “Love Left Over.”
I’m a bit biased when it comes to my preferred songs on Let Me Fly. As I mentioned, I’ve been a fan of Andrew Roachford’s brand of soul for almost 30 years. After listening to this new Mike + The Mechanics release, I still feel the same. Listening to the Roachford led “Save My Soul” is a mesmerizing experience. While some might label this a ballad, it has a steady mid-tempo beat which accompany emotionally vivid vocals. The lyrics are haunting and begin with… I traveled south to wash my sins away / But the devil laughed as he turned and sealed my fate / Oh let go of my soul, I never feel, I’m never on my own / Someone right behind haunts me to the bone. The lyrics become less intrusive as the song progresses, but remain haunting still the same.
“I’ll Be There For You,” is quite reminiscent to earlier Mechanics’ music. As I’ve not been a connoisseur of this band’s music over the years. I’m like many nominal fans, I loved what I heard on the radio and this tune reminds me of what I’ve heard. It’s got an infectious chorus; great sound from the keyboards and what I like most is that late 80s feel. I was addicted from the first listen. This is what pop music used to be. Good. If you want to be addicted too, listen to this track, then go listen to a few other tracks, from this album, another album, whatever, then come back about twenty minutes later and listen to “I’ll Be There for You” once more and you’ll think you’ve loved this song for years. It’s that dang good.
I’ve saved my favorite Roachford led song for last and that’s the title track, “Let Me Fly.” Words can’t do this song justice and I think that’s sort of what the track is about, justice, because what is justice if it isn’t about endless opportunities and freedom and you find that here in the lyrics. At the beginning, the song seems to take off slow, but that’s by design. You can hear it building up to a beautifully soulful crescendo when a sneak peak of a choir comes in at 1:45 and the song only grows stronger after that with the full fledged choir taking over the song a minute later. The chorus brought me to a few tears (I’ll only admit to a few). What got me was the perfect mix of soul wrenching vocals accompanied with meaningful lyrics. Hearing the mix of both can touch even the hardest of hearts. Check out these lyrics… “So let me fly, let me fly, oh let me fly / If I don’t try I will never know / Let me fly, let me fly, oh let me fly, see how far I can go / And let me dream, let me dream, oh let me dream, I can be who I wanna be / let me fly, let me fly, oh let me fly, see how high I can go.” As I said, the words won’t do this song justice, it must be heard to be felt.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include at least one Tim Hovar led song here and the one I enjoyed most was “The Best is Yet to Come.” The music is a bit generic and seems as if it derives from a ten year old Eurovision song entry, but that works splendidly here. The song is high energy for this album and the positive lyrics and topic are just what I need to hear, just what I need to believe. I know a lot of people will feel the same exact way. While a song like “The Letter” is just as up tempo, with more of an edge, I’ll take this poppy song if I had to choose between the two, even though I love “The Letter” after it hits the 2:30 mark. It’s funny, but after listening to Roachford led songs first, I didn’t think the idea of dual lead vocalists would work as well as it did in the past, but I’m impressed with how incorrect I can be. Tim Hovar is talented and the more I listen to this track, the more I love it.
Some would say if you simply strip away a few songs, this would be a fine Andrew Roachford solo album. But there’s a great mix here and Mike Rutherford knew exactly what he was doing a few years ago when he brought both Andrew Roachford and Tim Hovar in to be his vocal Mechanics. Let Me Fly is the perfect Mike + The Mechanics album it has come into the world at just the right time.
More Mike + The Mechanics Music
Check out Mike + The Mechanics’ entire discography here.
Check out Mike + The Mechanics’ greatest hits here.
Sample all 12 songs from Mike + The Mechanic’s Let Me Fly here.
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