If vocal talent equalled financial success, Paul Carrack would be a bigger name than legends such as Phil Collins or Elton John. That said, Carrack has built up a large, loyal following over the years, and this album, his 14th, issued through his own label, should further bolster his reputation as a first-rate singer, songwriter and keyboardist.
I Know That Name plays to Carrack’s strengths, largely consisting of mellow, Al Greenish tracks that provide a sympathetic setting for his soulful voice. This is clear from the opening track, an excellent take on Bobby “Blue” Bland’s Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City, superbly arranged with a modern-meets- classic soul sound setting the tone for what follows. Carrack’s original material is strong too, one highlight being the sharp Stay Awake (I’m Coming Home), co-written with Squeeze’s Chris Difford. The warm, uncluttered production allows plenty of room for Carrack’s vocals to shine and he’s never sounded better. There are some less gripping tracks, and it could be argued that he never really challenges himself. As an album of mature, well-performed modern soul and soft rock, however, this is very satisfying.