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Simple Minds "Big Music" Reviewed

Jerr And burchill are back

Kerr And Burchill are back

Simple Minds were playing Roseland earlier this year, I took a look, looked at the price (seventy bucks) and no, actually do forget about me. It had been too long, too many year after year of crappola, it wasn’t worth it, I couldn’t justify the effort no way. Simple Minds? Jim Kerr should have been a major New Wave star, 30 years later he should have been Bono –he’d cracked the US. But I dunno what happened. He got lazy, or he fell asleep, or maybe the gift was gone when all he needed was another coupla cracker albums and that would have it, off the chips and scampi (well, never quite that small but…).

It was over.

The heart of the story occurred from 1982 to 1985. Three albums, all crackers, all smashes, then nothing. From Stadium rocker swith Steve Lillywhite handing out earth shatterring soul production heavy on the bass to nothing. The songs weren’t there and slowly neither were the audience.

Kerr has mainatained the band (after a disastrous attempt at a solo career) for decades but there were no more “Alive And Kicking”‘s in the tank and there still aren’t. But Big Music has some very good also rans,  sounding like Bryan Ferry on steriodss with a touch more soul,, the first four songs live up to the name of the album, with a steadfast, powerful attack: it is all big bangs, everything is revolving through the relentless beats and if the album is missing anything it is songs good enough for he overpowering crashed up tracks.

So the beats are great, Kerr is in great voice and the songs are off a touch. So what of Charlie Burchill? Since he co-wrote the songs I would assume it was intentional, but it is as guitar album this will let you down. Everything is a touch too pasteurised to have that soulful tangy bent strings of great Burchill. It is a keyboard album

Those two are set backs, but not enough to derail this fine album. From “Bindfolded” to “Spirited Away” this is a consistently focussed collection of songs which will give Simple Minds more than a hanger to place their hits onand when they hit it right, on the title track for instance, they are indeed alive and kicking.

Grade: B+

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