Carrack Gets Into the 80s Pop Groove With Groove Approved
D. Negrin | New Jersey USA | 08/12/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps more so than on any other Paul carrack solo project, Groove Approved represents the influence of the more commercial pop success of his work with Mike and The Mechanics in the mid to late 1980s. Released after the first two successful Mechanics albums (the self-titled 1985 album and Living Years), Groove Approved completely sheds Carrack Pub Rock sound and ventures on for a more period '80s pop feel far beyond what his previous solo project, One Good Reason, did.
That being said, while the album has a somewhat dated sound when listened to now, there is some great song writing on this record. "Dedicated" is one of Carrack's best ballads, "After The Love Is Gone" is another great track, and the catchy pop single "I Live By The Groove" is hard to shake from memory. Also of note, fellow Mechanics vocalist Paul Young appears on back-up vocals on "Tip of My Tongue!"
While Groove Approved is not Paul Carrack's best solo album, it is a great period piece of '80s pop music and holds it's own with a few really good tracks. If you enjoyed the first couple of Mike and The Mechanics albums or his One Good Reason solo album, this disc will not disappoint you. If you find yourself more interested in Carrack's more recent soulful-pop solo albums, this album may not be as palatable."
Lone Wolf | Michigan | 10/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Paul Carrack was really in top form back in 1989 & this album is one of those albums that is highly underrated & should've made him a much bigger star. Unfortunately, Paul's record company was going through ownership changes at the time this record was released & they failed to promote it properly. So unless you're a hardcore Carrack fan, you've probably never heard this terrific album. It is full of mid-tempo soulful pop/rock grooves that are some of the best songs he has ever written or performed during his long & impressive career & tracks like: "Only My Heart Can Tell", "Love Can Break Your Heart", "Loveless", "Tip of my Tongue" and "Dedicated" are just as catchy and memorable as Paul's previous work. The only single that was released was the infectious & very upbeat - "I Live by the Groove". It was a very catchy track & IMHO, should've charted much higher than it did. Besides the great songs, a couple of big name guests were on hand to add to the albums flavor. Blue eyed soul masters - Michael McDonald & Daryl Hall guest star on 3 of the tracks and they give excellent performances as always. The production & guitar work provided by Tom T-Bone Wolk (Hall & Oates) is also top notch as well. If you're a fan of Paul's solo work (especially during the 80's) or his work with Squeeze or Mike + Mechanics, you owe it to yourself to give this album a listen cuz it contains many hidden gems & it is one of Paul's very best albums."