Rain Or Shine

Paul Carrack

Proper Music, 2014


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


The “man with the golden voice” is back with his 17th solo album. Now over four decades into his career, Paul Carrack is an everyman of music; a songwriter, session musician, and former member of a number of successful bands. In addition to being the keyboardist in Roxy Music for three years, he has been the vocalist in such bands and on such songs as Ace (“How Long”), Squeeze (“Tempted”), and Mike and the Mechanics (“The Living Years” and “Silent Running”).nbtc__dv_250

If anything, Carrack’s voice has improved with the passage of time  acquiring a wonderful, soulful patina that is on display in his newest release, Rain Or Shine. Half of this new release consists of original tunes, while the other half is made up of classic covers, with three tracks forming a Ray Charles salute.

The album begins with three original compositions that rank as some of the best songs Carrack has produced in years. ‘Stepping Stone,” “That’s All That Matters To Me,” and “One In A Million” all serve as vehicles for his vocals, which just wash over you. His intermittent use of strings and brass serve to supplement his voices on these three examples of blue-eyed soul.

As good as his originals are; his judicious selection of cover songs is better. His Ray Charles suite of “You Don’t Know Me,” “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” and “Hard Times (No One Knows Better Than I)” would have made Charles proud. “You Don’t Know Me” is a one man tour-de-force as he plays all the instruments. He ups the tempo and smooths out the vocal, which gives the song a personal touch while remaining true to the original. The Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer tune “Come Rain Or Come Shine” has been recorded hundreds of times, but here Carrack channels Ray Charles’ version with a swinging rendition. “Hard Times (No One Does It Better Than I) contains a gritty vocal and a layered sound.

Perhaps the best track is “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right,” which features a smoldering vocal that continues to build throughout the performance.

Paul Carrack has created an album that fits his style and personality. Rain Or Shine is a worthy addition to his musical legacy.

Rating: B+

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