Late summer 2020 is just a massive concentration of interesting albums. One key reason for that is that so many interesting artists postponed their album releases due to Covid-19. Andrew Roachford, well-known as a solo artist but also as part of Mike & the Mechanics, originally planned to release his album Twice In A Lifetime on 3rd April 2020. Finally, the thirteen song album has been published physically and digitally on 11th September 2020, more than five months later.
Roachford – About The Artist
Andrew Roachford, who is born on 22nd January 1965 in London, was one of the first artists I saw live on stage. However, his support of German artist Westernhagen in Cologne was not too fortunate, as the people hated the support act before. At that time, Andrew Roachford was huge with his own band project Roachford in Germany. While the initial album Roachford (1988) was majorly successful in the UK (including the British and Irish Top 10 single Cuddly Toy), his third album, Permanent Shade of Bluehad two songs, which did not have too promising chart positions, but were very well receipted by critics and had a lot of airplay: his breakthrough in my home country was Only To Be With You, another big hit was This Generation (both 1994). The album placed second in Australia and eleventh in New Zealand. His single career was fading, even though there were regular album releases – Twice in A Lifetime overall was Andrew Roachford’s tenth studio album.
Since 2010, I am seeing Roachford much more frequently on stage and much more appreciate his performances as he joined one of my absolute favorite bands, Mike & the Mechanics, lead by Genesis legend Mike Rutherford. The last two Mechanics albums, Let Me Fly (2017) and Out of the Blue (2019) made it to the Top 10 of the British album charts. Apart from their home country, Germany is the biggest Mechanics fan base.
Roachford – Twice In A Lifetime – Track by Track
The thirteen track album lasts 48 minutes.
1. High On Love
Still aiming for the original release date, this powerful track has already been released about half a year before the album. The song is just what you expect of Andrew Roachford: powerful music with a lot of soul, dominated by his fantastic voice. Great one!
2. Love Remedy
You gave me one more reason to live
Since you’ve walked in my life, I know love exists
I’ve never found a feeling like this
You came and saved me, girl you’re like a love remedy
The Love Remedy is softer, having a beautiful melody. Just this kind of music I can relate to, where I love Roachford.
3. Too Much To Lose
While I love the first two songs, Too Much To Lose is slightly weaker to me – just as a song itself, the technical performance, especially the vocals, still make it a good song. The track was the first single to be released of the album, by the way.
4. Give It Up And Let It Go
Trumpets, rhythm, groove… I really enjoy what Roachford is doing in this song. The chorus is very central, though – and leads to a lot of identification and also recognition of the track.
5. What We Had (feat. Beverley Knight)
Two amazing voices – one great song. This duet with British R&B / soul queen Beverly Knight is just a blast. Simply good – and to me the best song of the album.
6. Won’t Think Twice
Won’t Think Twice is a piano ballad. Really a good song, I again love the singing. Even though the song is melodically something “new” on Twice in a Lifetime, I lack a bit of variety on the vocal side. Does the strong, raspy, soulful voice of Andrew Roach have the potential to become boring? Hope not.
7. So Long
So Long is more on the pop side. Rhythmic, makes you listen and maybe sway or dance. I still run into the vocal issue I mentioned – even though there is a bit more vocal variety in here due to backing vocals.
8. Are You Satisfied?
Are You Satisfied is definitely one of the most outstanding tracks on Twice in a Lifetime. It is very hard for me to describe to powerful, nearly angry spirit of the song, it has a touch of acid-jazz and similar styles I am not too familiar in. Even if I struggled with the vocal variety, the musical variety is massive.
9. The Truth Hurts Too Much
With The Truth Hurts Too Much, Roachford goes back to his musical home zone. The song is a lovely soul / R&B ballad. Close your eyes and dream away with Andrew R., please!
10. Gonna Be The One
The song starts slow, but the melodic chorus of Gonna Be The One is just a blast. There is so much power in this track, which makes it one of the most remarkable (and best) ones on the album to me.
11. Once In A Lifetime
With 4:50 minutes, Once In A Lifetime is the longest song on the album. I especially enjoy the musical arrangement of the song. Again, there are so many different layers of instruments, backing vocals – the list of collaborators to this album is quite long – and a song like this is the beautiful result.
12. Written In My Heart
Roachford is back at the piano playing Written In My Heart. This song goes straight to your heart as well. To me, the best ballad of that kind on the album. Simple music can be so good sometimes.
13. You’re The One
I Found You and You’re The One – Andrew Roachford finishes the album in style with a track. The song is likely the closest one to his very initial successful songs.
Roachford – Twice In A Lifetime – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget to Twice In A Lifetime:
Roachford – Twice In A Lifetime – My View
Twice In A Lifetime definitely has beautiful musical quality. I like the variety of songs (on the instrumental side, especially), he is a great singer with a characteristic voice as well. The album will likely not have the success it deserves – it is close, but still a too big step away from the mainstream. Andrew Roachford will not care about that and enjoy the thirteen new tunes – and they will be amazing on stage, definitely. Good one!
British Media Reviews