Stay by Simply Red

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 May, 2007, 12:00am

Simply Red's new album Stay is pop music at its best. It is proof that the combination of infectious tunes and well-written lyrics - rather than looks and gimmicks - are the keys to good music.

The 11 album tracks are all potential radio hits. Some may find their old-school arrangements and sentimental lyrics may sound dated.

But lead singer Mick Hucknall's expertise overrides these shortcomings and brings life to the songs, which speak about love and loneliness.

The album opens with The World and You Tonight, the kind of ballad that works best when accompanying the closing shots of a romantic movie.

Good Times Have Done Me Wrong is a jazzy, soulful number backed by crisp guitar sounds which would drive a crowd wild if performed live. The guitars in Debris and Money TV are slick and emotionally powerful.

Little Englander, featuring children's vocals and cheerful whistling, rounds off the album perfectly.

Hucknall may have lost his originality, but as long as he maintains his passion for music, Simply Red are far from the end of the road.