As the second release on Simply Red's own label, Simplified finds the smooth soulsters reworking classics of their back catalog as well as introducing some new songs all in a stripped-down and stylish manner. Featuring such Simply Red classics as "Holding Back the Years" and "More," Simplified works well as a reintroduction to the band. And that's probably the main intention here. Although lead vocalist Mick Hucknall -- whose burnished vocals sound superb here -- and the band have largely kept a low profile since the early '90s, they haven't stopped touring and recording and as such have cultivated a devoted fanbase. One can only assume that the band has changed its sound over the years and felt the need to present its classic tracks in a fashion more representative of the band as it is now rather than when it debuted in 1985. The result is a lush but uncomplicated album featuring an organic mix of acoustic instruments including various pianos, organs, and horns that updates Simply Red's classic soul sound while still bringing to mind the best of their output.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar