With young, British, soul stars like Amy Winehouse, Paolo Nutini, and Joss Stone crashing the American charts, what better time to celebrate the return of one of the original great blue-eyed soul singers, Simply Red's curly-mopped Mick Hucknall? Despite being dropped by its label in 2002, his band has flourished on its own, both artistically and commercially. Stay
, Simply Red's third independent release, loses none of the crisp soul-jazz beauty that marked the group's late '80s heyday. It has a younger, fresher feel than 2003's elegant Home
, but that does lead to more of a mixed bag. A pair of bite-the-hand-that-feeds protest tunes, "Money TV" and "The Death of the Cool," fall wide of the mark, but Hucknall makes up for it when he lets his shimmering voice rise above the electronic fanfare, delivering the classic love song "So Not Over You." Meanwhile, "They Don't Know" and the lively "Oh! What A Girl" prove that he can still give the new generation of soul singers a run for their money. --Aidin Vaziri
Stay is the follow-up studio album to Home, which scanned 230,000 units in the U.S. in 2003. It is an 11-song collection including 10 new songs and a cover of The Faces beloved track Debris from their album A Nod is as Good as a Wink. Stay will see three fully promoted singles throughout 2007 and a major tour. The first single So Not Over You is at radio currently. Featuring vocals by Mick Hucknall, initial reactions across the board have been exceptionally positive.2007album produced and co-mixed by Andy Wright (Annie Lenow, Natalie Imbruglia).