Release Date: Nov 24, 2014
Record label: Caroline
Genre(s): Pop, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Dance-Rock
When Simple Minds released Black and White in 2005, it was obvious they'd been doing some creative soul searching in light of the success of bands clearly influenced by them, namely, the Killers and Manic Street Preachers. 2009's Graffiti Soul saw the return of drummer Mel Gaynor to the fold. He brought a familiar, tight, propulsive foundation to Charlie Burchill's guitar playing and Andy Gillespie's imaginative synths.
Simple Minds’ last album, Graffiti Soul, was the sound of a band looking for a way back to their artistic heyday something they’ve been edging towards since the late 90s. Though all the component parts were in place, it just wasn’t quite there; it was, as RC suggested at the time, almost the miracle they’d been promising. So it’s delightful to report that, five years later, Big Music is the genuine article: a remarkable record that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any of Simple Minds’ first five albums.
The path to redemption continues apace for Simple Minds. The band are very much out of the period where they were regarded as a substitute for U2 and now find themselves in an era where their influence is not only admitted but wilfully encouraged. The transformation has been aided considerably by the reissue two years back of their first five albums, regenerating them as a once-edgy band capable of turning the heads of LCD Soundsystem and The Killers – and ensuring Jim Kerr’s musical legacy may even eclipse that of Bono’s.
Simple Minds were known as one of the biggest bands in the world from the mid-‘80s to the early ‘90s. Their earlier work in the first part of the ‘80s was both cool and ground-breaking. This band might have become U2 (size) or R.E.M. (innovation). Instead, its two core members, vocalist Jim ….
Despite being 16 albums in, Simple Minds are surprisingly current in many ways. They’ve installed Chvrches man Iain Cook as a co-writer, while their overwrought production and heart-on-sleeve openness has been aped by the likes of recent indie stand-out Strand of Oaks and even Belle and Sebastian. On Big Music, their own sound has had a makeover, too, combining huge synth lines with similarly gargantuan drums.
For the casual music appreciator, Simple Minds are a one-hit wonder who hit their peak with the ultimate movie ending song for The Breakfast Club with "Don't You Forget About Me." For the dedicated music fan and many a musician, however, Simple Minds are seminal and influential. The Scottish group has been releasing music for 35 years, sticking to its art-rock/New Wave sound throughout various musical trends over the years. .
Although they didn’t actually write “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” Scotland’s Simple Minds will forever be remembered for that hypnotic No. 1 hit from 1985’s “The Breakfast Club” soundtrack. This new album, the band’s first in five years, is a nostalgic valentine to fans; singer Jim Kerr and company offer up slickly danceable, backbeat-driven synth-rock that has enough energy to revitalize the faithful, but maybe not much more.