Rock Veterans Simple Minds Release 18th Album ‘Walk Between Worlds’
Best known for their 1985 hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” Scottish new wave rock outfit Simple Minds have been going nonstop since their initial rise to fame. Releasing albums regularly since their start in the late 70s, Simple Minds are now unveiling their 18th studio album. “Walk Between Worlds” — recorded in their hometown of Glasgow — shows that the post-punk rockers still maintain an 80s allure, but very much beneath a modern veil.
“Magic” was the first taste of a 2018 Simple Minds sounds, one that right off the bat is reminiscent of their flagship rock sound. Lead singer and co-founding member Jim Kerr, alongside fellow creator Charlie Burchill (guitar, keyboards), take the tune to splendid heights under synths and great lyrics. Along with an accompanying video that tows the line between virtual and reality, Kerr sings about “forces” that “confound us.” Futuristic elements have formed Simple Minds’ sound since their inception, and “Worlds” is another great study in electronics. “The Signal and the Noise,” an additional pre-release single, finds Burchill’s synths coming off almost as a warning, with vocalist Sarah Brown providing equally provoking echoed background vocals. Kerr sings of being “caught between the signal and the noise” in a place “beneath the heavens and the atmosphere.” The tracks almost write the narrative themselves. “Sense of Discovery” continues the album’s, well, sense of discovery with Burchill’s sparkling guitar amongst a glistening computer production upon which Kerr does his best Bono impression to wax on the last moment before jumping into the abyss.
Intoxicating electronics aside, Kerr and Burchill succumb to moments of sheer rock and pop on “Worlds” as well. “Summer” takes to reverb and sheer volume to get things moving. So too does “Angel Underneath My Skin” and the title track “Walk Between Worlds” with moody tones and guitar echoes. The album ends on a relatively modest note, however, with a live cut of “Dirty Old Town,” a cover from 1940s folk singer Ewan MacColl, which uses blue-collar themes to get to the nitty gritty of life. A far cry from the thematic subjects of the previous songs, yet nonetheless very fitting with Kerr’s vocals.
With more than 70 million albums sold and a career spanning more than four decades, Simple Minds’ popularity remains strong, throughout their home country of Scotland, as well as the U.K and beyond. This speaks to Kerr’s and Burchill’s everlasting musical spirit. Eighteen albums in and still dominating their home country, after all, what music fan doesn’t want to walk between Simple Minds’ dreamlike worlds?