Stuff That Works - a Review of Big Music by Simple Minds
Gotta confess right off that I have been a fan of Simple Minds for decades and "Big Music" justifies my fandom once again. My first taste of their new one came when I ordered a special edition DVD "Celebrate" which is their live show at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow - recorded in 2013. It was one of those deals you ordered in advance and paid a bunch of money for - but my goodness, it was worth it.
Anyway, they played a couple of tunes from what was to become Big Music. I also ordered a live recording from one of their tour stops in Australia on their 5X5 Tour. (My review of same can be seen clicking here: 5x5 Live.) Funny, it just struck home that I have to buy all this Aussie and Euro live stuff because Simple Minds has not come to my part of the world in a while. JIM KERR - if you ever read this - will ya please come over to Michigan? We are the state that looks like a mitten and we need us some Simple Minds.
I was a bit put off at first that Simple Minds included a cover of "Let The Day Begin" by Michael Been and The Call. Why? Well, I dearly loved The Call and that song in particular was one of my faves. I thought it a bit cheeky to record it. WELL - I repent! These days it is probably my favorite song on the album. Gotta believe Michael Been is smiling at the result.
If you are a fan, even a luke warm one who thought it began and ended with "Don't You (Forget About Me)" for the band - then you owe it to yourself to take a listen. The title track is truly some big music - the Minds are firing on all cylinders. The bulk of the writing is by Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill - works for me. The album presents a great mix of guitars (Burchill), synth (Andy Gillespie), and the driving force of Mel Gaynor's drums and bottom end from Ged Grimes to support Kerr's vocals - with help from the ever present Sarah Brown and Clinton Outten (the last two being backing vocals). Ms Brown has been hanging with SM for years and she is a vital part IMHO.
"Imagination" is a great song.
"Blindfolded" is a great song.
Ah hell, I like pretty much everything on it. There were a couple I was not wild about to begin with, but the more I listen, the more I dig the whole enchilada. Charlie has his chops and Jim is still in great voice - the band makes it work from start to stop.
If you like Simple Minds - you will LOVE Big Music.
I guarantee it.