Mike + The Mechanics: The Road

Back on the forecourt with a fresh set of tools.

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Four years after the conclusion of a worldwide stadium jaunt with Genesis, Mike Rutherford has reconvened his Mechanics with a little tinkering under the hood.

Gone is previous vocal mainstay Paul Carrack, to be replaced by 80s/90s Brit soul boy Andrew Roachford and Canadian singer-songwriter Tim Howar.

Musically, the engine’s running as smoothly as ever – finely tuned AOR that’s unlikely to grab any chequered flags. Try To Save Me and Reach Out (Touch The Sun) finds Roachford staying close to the polite testifying that brought him a string of low-charting hits, but there’s a richer, more countrified feel to the tracks where Howar takes centre-stage (Background Noise, It Only Hurts For A While).

Solid, if unremarkable stuff.

Terry Staunton was a senior editor at NME for ten years before joined the founding editorial team of Uncut. Now freelance, specialising in music, film and television, his work has appeared in Classic Rock, The Times, Vox, Jack, Record Collector, Creem, The Village Voice, Hot Press, Sour Mash, Get Rhythm, Uncut DVD, When Saturday Comes, DVD World, Radio Times and on the website Music365.