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Paul Carrack - It Ain't Over

It Ain’t Over is Paul Carrack’s ninth solo album since 1980. Phil Collins has released almost the same number of non-live records in the same period, so it’s quite an impressive output.

Paul Carrack’s music has changed a lot in these years. Perhaps it just took him some time to find his personal style. The big gap without any album releases in the early 90s marks the moment when Paul’s style changed. His 1995 album Blue Views rode the wave of the Mechanics’ success. One would hear Over My Shoulder and Another Cup Of Coffee everywhere and so everybody was familiar with his voice though hardly anybody knew who Paul Carrack was. Paul Young’s death in the summer of 2000 closed the book of Mike And The Mechanics for the time being, but it also provided Paul Carrack with an opportunity to focus his attention on his solo career. Paul recorded three solo albums with only a handful of musicians and a small production crew. He released them on his new label Carrack-UK in 2000, 2001 and 2003. When you listen to them, you will get the impression that Paul has finally found his own style: Lots of groove and soul, a couple of ballads, songs about relationships, love and life. He himself states that he is happy with his music now.

It Ain’t Over was released in late April 2003. Earlier, She Lived Down The Street and Nothin’ To Lose came out as singles in England and Germany, respectively. Carrack recorded this album, like its predecessors, mainly on his own. He sang, played almost every instrument himself and also produced the album himself. He even wrote most of the songs for the album. There are only four songs he wrote with others, She Lived Down The Street and Empty Space with Chris Difford, One Small Step with B.A.Robertson and Just A Little Lie with Charlie Dore. As mentioned above, the songs are mainly about bliss and sorrow in love and relationships. Most songs are soulful groovy numbers: Nothin’ To Lose, It Ain’t Over, Where Did I Go Wrong?, Never Too Late, Just A Little Lie and Ain’t No Love. You will also find fine pop songs like She Lived Down The Street, Happy To See You Again and ballads like Empty Space, One Small Step and Forever. The selection of songs on It Ain’t Over is much more consistent than on Satisfy My Soul and Beautiful World. You can hear how much fun Carrack had recording this album, at least as much fun as he had doing Groovin’, the previous album. That one consisted only of covers Paul originally decided to record “just for fun”.

With this album, Paul Carrack further emancipates himself from the things that used to determine his career. He knows where he wants go to musically and he knows what he likes (not). It may be doubted that he will ever enjoy commercial success, particularly since the current mainstream does not leave much space for Carrack’s style of music, much less for a singer who does not come from a casting show or spends less than four hours styling himself per day. But then you never know. Paul himself is probably less interested in chart success than in making the music he enjoys and bringing it to the people in a way he enjoys.

by Helmut Janisch

translated by Martin Klinkhardt

Paul Carrack

Mike & The Mechanics - M6 (CD)

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