Love And The Russian Winter

Musically, it has to be conceded, '[B]Love And The Russian Winter[/B]' is a tepid, reassuringly bland melange...

Musically, it has to be conceded, ‘Love And The Russian Winter‘ is a tepid, reassuringly bland melange of diluted trip-hop, bleached cod-Motown, Talkin’ Loud-style retro-soul mannerisms and layers of shopping mall-style synthetic strings, all sterilised, deodorised and glazed in the studio. But the music is merely the jelly in the pork pie. The real meat is in Mick Hucknall‘s lyrics, wherein he grapples fearlessly with the Big Millennial Questions most faint-hearts would prefer to leave to the experts.

Take ‘The Spirit Of Life‘, for instance. Alerting us to the fact that [I]”sooner or later we’ll be gone”[/I], Hucknall consoles us with the thought that [I]”the spirit of life is within you”[/I]. And how do we take advantage of this inner boon? We [I]”search”[/I], advises Mick, [I]”until we find a way”.[/I]

If that should seem at all trite, check ‘Back Into The Universe‘ whereon Dr Stephen Hucknall offers us a Brief History Of Everything. “The order’s truly random in the universe/And where will we be in a thousand years?”. Dead, I expect. But maybe not. For according to Mr H, we’re “changing the concept of belief in time/Rearranging the clock that dictates our minds”. Must admit my mental clock was set to ‘snooze’ during this one, but there’s more priceless wisdom on ‘Man Made The Gun’: “Man made the gun a sado-sexual machine/It’s (sic) slaughter brings you to your knees”. Are you listening, Mr Blair? Mr Khrushchev? Guns kill dead, badly.

“. Hitherto, Simply Red have sold upward of 40 million albums. I too pray with this new album the world will finally see the light [I]vis-`-vis[/I] Mr Hucknall.