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simpleminds walkbetweenworlds
Artist: Simple Minds
Album: Walk between Worlds
Genre: New Wave / Rock / Post Punk / Pop
Release Date: 2nd February 2018
Label: BMG

Album Review

Starting in 1977 as Punk band JOHNNY AND THE SELF ABUSERS by Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill, they disbanded already at the end of the year just to form SIMPLE MINDS a couple of weeks later. The band name was inspired by the song ‘Jean Genie’ from DAVID BOWIE. With a musical career of more than 30 years, the Scottish band released 15 studio albums, several live albums and live videos, a cover album, best of albums, as well as numerous singles. Its music spans a great spectrum of musical genres and influences during the years, from Punk, to Minimalism, Experimental, Industrial Electronic, Trance and Rock music. With albums like ‘New gold dream (81- 82- 83 84)’, ‘Sparkle in the rain’ success set in but it was the song ‘Don’t you (forget about me)’ which was a film song for the teenage film ‘The Breakfast Club’ the band reached the N° 1 in the USA. SIMPLE MINDS is one of the most busily touring band. Its live performances are outstanding and the guys are still enjoying it to tour worldwide. Apart from touring busily the band has released now its 18th studio albums, 13 compilation/ best of albums, 2 live albums and 36 singles/ EPs.

Not long after the release of the formidable acoustic album in 2016 and the critically acclaimed acoustic tour, the guys come up with this new album. Actually the band has started to write some new songs before they hit the road for the acoustic tour. The original plan was to tie on the cineaste style of the ‘Big music’ album but the experience of playing the old songs in a stripped down version made the guys reconsider their approach on creating new songs and sounds. So when they returned to the studio after their tour, they decided to draw a line from the old sound of SIMPLE MINDS to the new one - songs that remind the listener of the songs from the early years but blended with the sound of today. This decision is reflected by the duality of the album. While some songs are a modern version of the Post Punk/ Wave era other songs are more like a soundtrack. So the long-time fans might find some allusions to albums like ‘Empire and dances’ as well as ‘Sons and Fascination/ Sister Feelings Call’.

Two songs are already released before the launch of this album: ‘Magic’ and ‘The signal and the noise’. Thus, the SIMPLE MINDS fans got already an appetiser of how diverse the new album will be. ‘Magic’, the opener of the album, is a fresh and optimistic song about the wishes, aspirations and believe in ones abilities which is inherent for the youth while the last song ‘Sense of discovery’ presents the view of the older person giving advice to the young people based on the experiences and wisdom the older person gained in life. A pivotal song is ‘Barrowland Star’, a homage to the concert hall in East End of Glasgow, a venue the parents of Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill already visited in the 50’s and where the band performed several times and also where the video for ‘Waterfront’ was made. Originally this song was an instrumental B-side from the 90’s. But now the guys recorded it anew and Jim added the lyrics to it.

‘Utopia’ comes along with a spherical and a bit dreamy sound which is underlined by the restrained and soft singing of Jim. My personal favourite song is the following one, ‘The signal and the noise’, as it reminds me very much of the old stuff of the band. Here Jim sings more powerful and Sarah Brown in the background adds some nice accents to the song while Charlie charms the listener with his melodious guitar hook. Some subtle strings open ‘Walk between worlds’ before they make way for the lead guitar. The song has more of a Pop than a Rock song and is even quite danceable. Again the strings appear to finish the song. The song that closes the album is afore mentioned ‘Sense of discovery’ and fitting to the lyrics and being the last song it is more contemplative.

Personally I think it is a well accomplished album. You will find allusions of the older albums without sounding repetitive. There is of course the characteristic voice of Jim Kerr and the skilful guitar playing of Charlie Burchill but with allowing new stylistic influences by other musicians who join the band SIMPLE MINDS never sounds like it’s been stuck in the old days. 40 years band history and apparently there are no signs of tiredness of writing new songs, with lyrics that speak the mind wrapped in catchy tunes. May it long continue! The album is available as CD, Deluxe version with 3 more songs, vinyl, download version or you can download each song.


01. Magic
02. Summer
03. Utopia
04. The signal and the noise
05. In dreams
06. Barrowland star
07. Walk between worlds
08. Sense of discovery


Jim Kerr - Vocals
Charlie Burchill - Guitar
Mel Gaynor - Drums
Andy Gillespie - Keyboard
Ged Grimes - Bass
Sarah Brown - Vocals/ Backing Vocals

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Cover Picture

simpleminds walkbetweenworlds


Music: 9
Sound: 10
Total: 9.5 / 10

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