Album review: MIKE + THE MECHANICS – Let Me Fly

MIKE + THE MECHANICS - Let Me Fly

BMG [Release date 07.04.17]

When Mike + The Mechanics played live recently – ostensibly to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Word Of Mouth – it was clearly evident they were also promoting a new album; taking pre-release orders in the foyer and, perhaps surprisingly, with four tracks in the setlist.

That gig demonstrated again that you can’t beat a good song and – sadly – 25 years after their period of greatest success they are unlikely to repeat it.  Although it has to be said the album remains radio-friendly throughout.

Let Me Fly is not unlike its predecessor The Road (2011) in being generally fairly forgettable with only a smidgen of really standout tracks.  In that sense the album can only really be viewed as a gesture and as a modern bolster to an already very fine catalogue based around some key late-eighties anthems.

The use of two vocalists may seem confusing but it’s been a feature since the glory days of Paul Young and Paul Carrack.  Tim Howar and Andrew Roachford have taken up their legacy with aplomb and are more settled in although Roachford really takes the lion’s share of the vocal spoils just as he does in the live context.

There aren’t enough more purposeful tracks like ‘Are You Ready’ and ‘The Letter’ to balance the safe and the saccharine.  Although the latter unashamedly echoes ‘Silent Running’ rather than breaks any new ground.  Whether by accident or design the weaker tracks appear to be those where Howar takes the lead, such as ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’, the insipid ‘High Life’ and ‘Love Left Over’.

At times, with the Roachford lead vocal tracks, you could be listening to one of Roachford’s solo albums and that can’t be right either.  And on ‘Not Out Of Love’ there are even echoes of ‘Another Cup Of Coffee’ lending the impression that there’s some lazy re-engineering going on.

It’s really the vocal performances – especially Roachford’s – that lift this album above the routine and the mundane.  With regard to instrumentation it’s typically synth-driven – Mike Rutherford was never one to use his electric guitar in anger and his contribution is typically muted allowing his vocalists the spotlight.

The title track with its rousing choir-assisted  chorus – although redolent of ‘Let It Be’ – and the early single ‘Don’t Know What Came Over Me’ remain the outstanding offerings here.

Notwithstanding Phil Collins’ return this summer Rutherford at least keeps the late-Genesis pop rock vibe flowing in 2017 although sadly it all seems somewhat sanitized even by late-Genesis standards.  ***1/2

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

Gig review (Manchester, 15 March 2017)
Album launch (London, 28 March 2017)





Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 22 May.

Next session: Sunday 26 June.

Check out previous videos here: https://www.facebook.com/getreadytorockradio


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 12 June 2022.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 14 June 2022.

How to Listen Live?

Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)

Listen via Windows Media Player. Click or tap here and “open file”
Listen via other media player (eg. VLC) Click or tap here and “open file”

Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.

More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com


Power Plays w/c 13 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
IVORY SKIES – Bring Me Up (indie)
HONG FAUX Feign Death To Stay Alive (Golden Robot Records)
OVERLAPS Mind Over Matter (indie)
SOLE SYNDICATE – Brave Enough (Scarlet Records)
DAVID PAICH Spirit Of The Moonrise (Mascot)
JAILBIRDS The River (indie)
NOUVEAU ARCADE Die On Me Now (FiXT)

Featured Albums w/c 13 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 DEF LEPPARD Diamond Star Halos (BMG)
12:00-13:00 LONERIDER Sundown (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 VANDERWOLF 12 Little Killers (Vandermax Music)



Popular (last 30 days)


This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), ALL POSTS. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply