The fist time I think I ever felt I understood, or at least contenplated inner happiness was when I listened to this album on a bright, bright sunny day as a 15 year old. "you can't destroy your problems by destroying yourself". So I didn't. Soul Mining, whilst being and album of dangerous self doubt and questioning is wonderfully uplifting.
Soul Mining is a journey, a discovery of self. Matt Johnson through this album and the more globally aware Infected, shaped my world, who I am, where I am and how I got here. In the 15 years I've owned Soul Mining there have been some noteworthy contenders of direction and belief, particularly Portishead, but none have managed the mystical journey of self truth and more over self doubt that Johnson confronts us with in Soul mining
"How can anyone know me, when I don't even know myself" Johnson sings on the soul searching and challenging "Giant", a song that combines the mytstery of self discovery with the trerrace chanting and somewhat infectious "yeah, yeah, yeah". I'm nearly 30 and I still can't answer Giants most fundamental question. Johnson is a master of melancholy and it's something he has always aspired to, that someone could come up with such a lyrically competent album at such a young age is incredible, I belive Johnson was 17 when the thinking teenagers song of angst "Uncertain Smile" was written, a perfect ballad for formative teenage years of love and loss.
I enjoy the album differently now, reflection is a powerful tool and the lighter harmonies of Uncertain Smile and This is the Day
keep the reflection long enough to evoke memories of perhaps less comlicated times.