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Simply Red, Time Review

by September 1, 2023

Simply Red, Time Review

Simply-Red-CUR-CDIn a musical era of fast-food singles and formulaic beats, Simply Red’s newest offering, Time , arrives like a heartfelt handwritten letter in a sea of spam emails. Released on May 26, 2023, Time  traverses the landscapes of soul, funk, R&B, blues, and pop-rock, delivering an opus that not only aligns with the band’s vintage allure but also meets the modern listener’s craving for depth and substance.

Helmed by the enigmatic Mick Hucknall, Simply Red has been a stalwart of emotionally resonant music since the ’80s. The band’s roots dig deep into the African-American rhythms of legends like James Brown and Otis Redding, while also drawing from British giants such as The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. It’s this fascinating blend that informs Time , making it a continuation rather than a reinvention of Simply Red’s storied career.

Fans of Simply Red’s earlier works like Stars, A New Flame, and Blue will find elements to celebrate here. However, Time  leans more into the band’s British lineage, harkening back to the songwriting traditions of Bowie and the Stones. This is especially noticeable in tracks like “Never Be Gone,” “Too Long at the Fair,” “Slapbang,” and “Earth in a Lonely Space,” where soul meets British pop in a marriage of melodies and messages.

Unsurprisingly, the album doesn’t shy away from contemporary concerns. Songs like “Hey Mister” and “Earth in a Lonely Space” find Hucknall meditating on climate change. Meanwhile, “Too Long At The Fair” is a pulsating query into the state of modern affairs, laden with political and biblical imagery.

“Better With You” is a luscious, soulful vibe that serves as the album’s emotional cornerstone. Hucknall’s vocals are a lesson in evocative restraint, rising and falling with a tidal force that complements the song’s message of lasting love. One cannot overlook the technical craftsmanship here; the deft layering of instruments creates an expansive sonic canvas while never overshadowing Hucknall’s poignant delivery.

“Let Your Hair Down” finds the band captures a groove reminiscent of vintage Simply Red, infused with modernSimply-Red-CUR-1 production elements. The guitar solo is a warmly distorted epiphany, injecting a dose of raw vitality into the track. The standout, however, is the intricate bass line that grooves seamlessly through the song, proving that Simply Red is as musically competent as ever.

“Earth in a Lonely Space” is an exploration into British melodicism, underpinned by soulful grooves. Hucknall contemplates our collective existential crisis, wondering aloud about the fragility of our planet. The result is both musically lush and thematically heavy, concluding the album on a note of poignant reflection.

The album swirls with emotional undertones—nostalgia, love, and existential musings find their way into the narrative. Standout moments include the fervent storytelling in “Never Be Gone” and the impassioned delivery in “Better With You,” making the album a rollercoaster of feelings.

Time sits comfortably within the realm of Simply Red’s legacy while successfully reaching out to engage with today’s evolving cultural and musical scenery. With top-tier production courtesy of Andy Wright, the album holds its own against seminal works of today and yesterday.

Simply-Red-CUR-2In Hucknall’s own words, music is a “wonderful communicator,” something that can be “shared with millions of people all over the world.” “Time” fulfills this mission, serving as both a musical experience and an emotional journey, one that is bound to resonate with both loyal fans and new listeners.

In the grand tapestry of Simply Red’s career, Time  is a vibrant splash of color, adding depth and texture to an already illustrious palette. In these increasingly complex times, it offers a soulful sanctuary, reminding us of the enduring power of thoughtful, well-crafted melodic music.


Simply Red





Release Date

May 26, 2023

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