Simple Minds | Big Music (Chrysalis)

cd Simple-MindsBig Music is just that: big in sound, power, and melody.

 

 

In the 1980s, Simple Minds asked us to do something simple—“Don’t You Forget about Me”—and we haven’t. As evidenced by its new album, Big Music, the band has not forgotten how to rock. The new album is laden with a pop sensuality, hitting its high mark when dripping with a romantic pop-rock sound. Lead vocalist Jim Kerr (the former Mr. Chrissy Hynde) is in fine form, and is no stranger to a killer hook and melody.

Big Music is synth pop at its best, modern, yet still edging on the ’80s sound that catapulted them to pop stardom. The production is clean and tight, the songs ethereal and even dark at times. While some tracks are obvious in their influences (Bowie, especially), the band has kept its unique style and sound, while coming into the modern age. Some of the songs here were originally penned for Kerr’s solo project, Lostboy! AKA; smartly enough, he saved them for Simple Minds. Spotlight tracks include “Midnight Walking,” a dark pop track with a melody that creeps up on you and stays in your head; “Kill or Cure,” with its superb choral hook; first single “Honest Town,” a melodious song about being true to one’s feelings, and “Human,” an aerial track with killer R&B vocals.

This is a great album, pure and simple. It’s nice to see a band from the ’80s release an album of this merit. On Big Music, Simple Minds retains its personality, embracing the here and now, yet not being overtaken by it. Big Music is just that: big in sound, power, and melody. It is the band’s best album in years.

Also of note: On the Deluxe 2CD version of this release, the band treats us to some very interesting cover tunes, including “Riders on the Storm,” the 1971 uber-hit by The Doors, and “Dancing Barefoot,” originally performed by Patty Smith in 1979. Big Music is also available on heavyweight double-vinyl. A- | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 244 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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