Simple Minds- Walk Between Worlds Album Review

Story posted February 9, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by Scott Perdue

Simple Minds is a band that has lasted the test of time, considering they rose from a decade known for its tendency to create one hit wonders. Although they have lost and added members along the way, Simple Minds have managed to consistently release music throughout the decades. Best known for their song, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” featured in the box office hit movie The Breakfast Club, Simple Minds have successfully kept from fading into obscurity, making them one of Scotland’s most commercially successful bands of all time. With such an extensive discography of over 40 years, it is easy for a band to lose touch with its style, leading this album to attempt to reach back to the band’s roots. Back once again with Walk Between Worlds, their 17th studio album, Simple Minds use a mix of the new and the old for one of the most dynamic albums of their discography. 

Walk Between Worlds incorporates the unique cinematic feel that allowed Simple Minds to rise above their contemporaries. Simple Minds incorporate electronic beats and drones with their new wave and alternative style. Through this blend of their past and new styles, a unique sound is created and strung throughout all eleven tracks on the album. Simple Minds successfully implements these elements throughout, reaching back into their discography and bringing forward the signature Simple Minds sound that made them iconic.

These instrumental choices reinforce the thematic content of the album. Walk Between Worlds tackles the abstract idea of faith. The opening track of the album “Magic” attempts to implement this through the perspective of the band as youths entering the music world. Near the end of the album, however, there is an attempt to shift the perspective to an older point of view through the song, “Sense of Discovery.” Here Simple Minds look back on nostalgia through an experienced lens on what they have been able to accomplish by keeping faith during the struggles of their career. The album ultimately comes to the thesis that regardless if the world is stacked against you, having the faith will allow you to give it all you got. Jim Kerr, the lead singer of Simple Minds, has described the album as, “a postcard from the future back to the past,” attempting to reconnect with his past self through the present.

Although the band has sought new variations in their aesthetic and explored this thematically on the album, this album is still heavily rooted in the foundational sound that Simple Minds have been utilizing throughout the decades. Though it does successfully fuse their previous works with a new direction, the band’s experimentation is still held back because it is operating with the same basic fundamentals they’ve worked with for the past 40 years, just in a differently dressed, though innovative, package.

Walk Between Worlds rejuvenates the band, allowing them to reinvent themselves and grow, while at the same time keeping their earlier sound from fading. This album fits very well into the Simples Minds discography as a statement to not losing touch with the past while also keeping with the future. Simple Minds provides hope that the band will be able to evolve their sound by incorporating their methods of experimentation dabbled in here, but not fully realized.

Rating: 7/10

 

Scott Perdue is a freshman majoring in film/video. To contact him, email rsp5246@psu.edu.