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Customer Review

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A failure to depart from the expected, 1 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Lostboy! (Audio CD)
What's been fundamentally wrong with Simple Minds for the last 20 years is their failure to surprise their audience, which is exactly what made them such a great band during their first five or six albums which imho remain unsurpassed in terms of novelty, style and elegant complexity. Their latest effort, Graffiti Soul had some spirit in it and kept me excited for a few weeks but its spark quickly faded (The accompanying disc of awful covers was partly responsible for that). When i heard that frontman Jim Kerr (50+ by now) was about to launch a solo career I was surprised. I'm well in my thirties now and still have framed blow-ups of their early album covers hanging on my wall. I just couldn't see the point in such a decision, especially so soon after a SM release. Then i read some early interviews stating his urge to return to his musical roots, to rediscover the songwriter of his youth (apparently dormant in the last SM albums?). Always finding hard to distance myself from Simple Minds, despite their constant decline and long lost purpose in what is the contemporary pop/rock scene, i preordered Lostboy! with some hope that this so called return to the past would somehow give birth to something fresh and (finally) worthy of his glorious past. Sadly, listening to this album was merely another deja vu of disappointment and an overwhelming sense of lost opportunity, just like most of the previous SM albums. Perhaps Jim hasn't listened to his early work for a long time, because there is no way that what goes on in this record has anything to do with what he and his bandmates produced in their creative heyday 25-30 years ago. What comes out of the speakers is just a regurgitation of the pompous stadium-oriented, radio-friendly pop that led him to stardom but had nothing to do with the Minds' early magnificence. The complex overproduction of what are simple, predictable pop songs (She fell In Love With Silence - Remember Asia) tries hard to fool the ear, but the heart remains well asleep throughout much of the album. Shadowland and Refugee are passable but easily forgotten. There are some notable moments where originality fights to surface (Nail Through My Heart, The Return Of The King, Lostboy, The Wait I & II) but are hardly justifiable reasons for the release of a full length album. So is this solo effort worth it? The sonic resemblance to Simple Minds is so obvious that a new creative muse was surely not discovered by Jim. Is it a return to the songwriter he was when he was 18? Evidently not, unless Don't You Forget About Me was released in 1978. It is sad to realize that his early work with the Minds still sounds so fresh and contemporary, while this release sounds so dated. Just listen to the live version of This Earth That You Walk Upon from one of his recent club concerts on YouTube to feel the chaotic difference between past and present. P.S: One last remark: I wish he would stop destroying favourite classics like Bulletproof Heart (check the live version by Fingerprintz on YouTube), covers have never been his strong point.
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