Simply Red are back with ‘Blue Eyed Soul’, a ten track masterclass in funky, brassy soul music and emotionally charged ballads, available to pre-order now. It’s their first new studio album in four years and the 12thin their stellar career. Lead track ‘Thinking of You’ will remind everyone why they first fell in love with the band, a horn fuelled swaggering tune that belongs on the dancefloor featuring main man lead singer Mick Hucknall at his very best. Recorded in London at British Grove Studios, all ten tracks were written by Mick Hucknall and produced by long-time collaborator Andy Wright. He’s got blue eyes and a soulful voice, and it’s Hucknall’s remarkable voice that takes centre stage on this record. “I wanted to push my voice a little harder, challenge it a little bit, give myself something to really sing to.” The results are simply sensational. Recorded as live, with few overdubs, ‘Blue Eyed Soul’ drew on inspiration from classic funk and soul: Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland and Tower of Power. Simply Red have over a billion hits on YouTube, and have sold over 60millionalbums since forming over thirty years ago. Holding back the years indeed. “At this stage of my career, I could do one of those dark reflective albums looking back on my life and all that kind of stuff that people tend to do at a certain age,” Mick Hucknall admits. “But I thought sod that! I wanted to make something punchy. I want to have a good time.” And that’s exactly what you get throughout ‘Blue Eyed Soul’, satisfaction guaranteed.