Top positive review
21 people found this helpful
on 21 April 2009
...well come on in then..!
The last Simple Minds album, "Black & White 050505" , was a decent record, but perhaps somewhat obvious compared to the two previous albums "Cry"  and "Our Secrets Are The Same" . Jim Kerr wanted a "landmark" album, what I think it ended up being was a band wanting to sound like what Simple Minds were 'supposed' to sound like. Don't be confused! It is a fine album with hindsight, just lacking in some areas, still, do investigate!
Here's the good news; with this new record, we're generally spared the "hey let's be back in the charts" schtick and there is much more focus on good songwriting, something that exemplified the 2002 and 2003 releases mentioned above. 8 songs; the consistancy is back on the wonderfully driving "Moscow Underground" familiar yet exciting, the perfect opener. The single "Rockets" is [to these ears at least] perhaps the weakest of the new material [a common Minds problem when it comes to recent first singles] but is not a bad song. Next up is "Stars Will lead The Way" too short and sweet and is perhaps the obvious comeback single, [watch this space!] it elbows it's way into the room where "Rockets" just shuffles hoping to be noticed. Simple Minds debuted "Rockets" as the first new song from this collection and many inlcuding myself were unimpressed, however it isn't particularly symbolic of the record as a whole.
The title song is an excellent groove [the groove is back!], echoing some of 1998's flawed, but rather fine, "Neapolis". "Light Travels' written by Sean Kelly, has been on the Minds shelf for sometime and only now brought to life, it is worth the wait, slow and sultry, with a guitar echoing 1995's single "Hypnotised" and a real opportunity for some er... "singalong" in it's "hello, hello" hook.
The final song "This Is It", is a fabulous song, one of those first listen tunes we all hope for now and again by our favourite artists, lyrically recalling an album like "Street Fighting Years"  but with the kind of dynamic that era lacked. The rhythm section never really has a break on the record and given the fact that Simple Minds music was built on that very aspect, it is good to see that so prevalent again, ta, Mr Duffy and Mr Gaynor.
The covers project "In Search Of The Lost Boys" is obviously a sticking point for many fans and they pull off some better than others; Simple Minds were never really a "kick over the mic stand and flip the audience the bird.." kind of 'rawk' band, so on some of the covers it doesn't quite gel, however they do a decent run through of Siouxie's "Christine" and an interesting turn on "Teardrop" [Massive Attack]
Funny, "Teardrop" -> Liz Frazer -> Cocteau Twins who took their name from an early Minds song "..full circle again.." indeed Jim!
Very good album.