With all of it's members exercising their expertise, the debut album from Mike + the Mechanics posted two Top Ten singles in the span of three months. The songwriting comes out on top before anything else, with the somber stir of "Silent Running," the album's first release, peaking at number six. "All I Need Is a Miracle" followed at number five, with it's Genesis-like tempo and polished chorus, and even "Taken In" cracked the Top 40, a simple ballad that's bettered by Paul Young's genuine emotional charm. Carrack sounds just as sharp as he did with Ace or Squeeze throughout the album's nine tracks, while Rutherford's overseeing of the entire project is apparent. While Mike Rutherford's guitar work isn't overwhelming, both his six-string and bass guitar contributions complete a sound foundation for the vocals. The mood setting drum work of Peter Van Hooke and the keyboard fills from Adrian Lee play a large part in setting the album's tone, and add some pop zest to the majority of the tracks. Even though their next album gave Mike + the Mechanics a number one hit with the darkened "Living Years," their debut reflects a more compliant sound in every aspect.
AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne