The simplicity is what really makes Simple Minds tick, however. I mean, it's a Viking berserker of an album packed with anthemic hooks that slowly cascades down into layer upon layer of cooing, knicker-twisty power-ballads, the sort of thing that reminds you why your favorite boy Freddie Mercury still kicks your ass. The folk-rockers really break their sonic cherry on "Mystery", in which a lonely-sounding voice stumbles drunkenly through Roy Bittan's creaky, knowing guitar melodies and those leathery, roadhouse harmonies. It's the only song on the album that doesn't have a time signature: It's just welcome to a podcast like a burrito. And some of the jazzier tracks, particularly the more modern-sounding ones ("La Femme", "Love Song", "Angels") require only a little street cred to sit snugly alongside the rest of the band's bland R&B reverie. No matter how intensely you love pirates, I bet you'll find something you like.
The sound is so fat and warm and proud of what it is, delivering a grungy take on classy pop and slather it over a very wide spectrum of moods. The moodiness is at its thickest when its members are at their finest. The five-piece is the kind of group that inspires solo albums with their gleeful, butter-smooth vocals and facilely layered guitar noodling that's backed up by inexhaustible bass and drums. If the whole album kicked ass, so did the singles-- the irresistible "Don't You (Forget About Me)", the blistering and brilliant "Amazed" and the string-laden "Are You Love" and "Reel" really are the best. But the latter two are bound to be among the next popular singles, which is a shame."
The drumming on the album is as perfect as the band's singers and the guitarists so used to having a captive audience that they can eek out even the most obscure melodies. Only three of the songs feature guest contributions from other artists, but they all make themselves feel at home. d2c66b5586