Simple Minds – Big Music {Deluxe Edition} (2014) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Simple Minds – Big Music {Deluxe Edition} (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:17:52 minutes | 935 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Q0buz | Front Cover | © Simple Minds

The 16th album from Scotlands legendary electronic rock pioneers Simple Minds, and their first album of new material since 2009. The band hit #1 worldwide and in the US in the 80s & 90s with albums including Sparkle in the Rain and New Gold Dream. They have returned with Big Music, a swaggering collection that reiterates their world-class credentials, it is the culmination of a decade of stealthy rediscovery. Made with an array of collaborators old and new including co-writer Iain Cook (of Glasgow band Chvrches) and producers Steve Osborne, Andy Wright and Steve Hillage (who worked on 1981’s Sons And Fascination / Sister Feelings Call) Big Music is an irresistible mix of artistry and accessibility.

When Simple Minds released Black and White in 2005, it was obvious they’d been doing some creative soul searching in light of the success of bands clearly influenced by them, namely, the Killers and Manic Street Preachers. 2009’s Graffiti Soul saw the return of drummer Mel Gaynor to the fold. He brought a familiar, tight, propulsive foundation to Charlie Burchill’s guitar playing and Andy Gillespie’s imaginative synths. Jim Kerr’s alternately whispering and soaring vocals were still at the fore, but were showcased inside more economical songwriting, and Jez Coad’s production celebrated the band’s pop identity. Big Music finds Simple Minds coming full circle — going all the way back to 1979 for inspiration. They’ve rediscovered the urgent, keyboard-driven post-punk futurism of recordings such as Empires and Dance and Sons and Fascination. Rather than try to merely re-create them, they’ve integrated them with the more guitar-centric classicism of New Gold Dream, Sparkle in the Rain, and Once Upon a Time. Three tracks here — “Blindfolded,” “Midnight Walking,” and ” Imagination” — draw directly from Simple Minds circa 1982-1985. Big beats and drum programs, careening synth pop, and Burchill’s fat, edgy guitar frame Kerr’s trademark clipped phrasing, which emotes even when he’s whispering. “Honest Town,” one of two tunes written with the Chvrches’ Iain Cook, is a gem. It’s as stirring as “Someone Somewhere in Summertime,” but with its house intro and trancey pulse fueling the moving narrative (Kerr taking his dying mother for a last drive around their town), it dives headlong into dance music. This isn’t an isolated incident. The other Cook collab, “Blood Diamonds,” uses SM’s textured, synth-driven romanticism to blur vintage and modern dance pop. The quirky, fat kick drums and loops in the intro, and the choruses of “Kill or Cure” evoke glitch with four-on-the-floor basslines and synth pulses adorned with shimmering guitars in the verses. Despite the Cult-esque guitar riff in the intro, “Imagination” is a largely electro-driven rocker; it suggests Sons and Fascination more than it does anything else — Gillespie’s multivalent keyboards are in accelerated swerve. “Concrete and Cherry Blossom” and “Broken Glass Park” are anthems laden with irresistible hooks and warm atmospherics. They revel in the cinematic drama of Kerr’s voice. (The former contains the repetitive line “I’m on the rooftop” which unmistakably and unabashedly echoes “I’m on the catwalk….”) The cover of the Call’s “Let the Day Begin” substitutes enormous, zig -zagging synth vamps in place of the original’s roaring guitars (though Burchill stings in the break alongside a bagpipe sample). This revisioning displays the song’s continued appeal even when updated for the club floor. Ultimately, Big Music is certainly that. Here Simple Minds have finally come to terms with all the fragments of their musical identity, focused them in a complementary manner, and delivered a whole with an unapologetic pop savvy and flair. It is easily their most consistent offering since Once Upon a Time. ~ Thom Jurek

Tracklist:
01 – Blindfolded
02 – Midnight Walking
03 – Honest Town
04 – Big Music
05 – Human
06 – Blood Diamonds
07 – Let The Day Begin
08 – Concrete And Cherry Blossom
09 – Imagination
10 – Kill Or Cure
11 – Broken Glass Park
12 – Spirited Away
13 – Swimming Towards The Sun
14 – Bittersweet
15 – Liaison
16 – Riders On The Storm
17 – Dancing Barefoot
18 – Blindfolded (Reprise)

Produced by Gavin Goldberg, Steve Osborne, Owen Parker, Simple Minds & Andy Wright.

Musicians:
Jim Kerr – vocals
Charlie Burchill – guitar, keyboards, programming
Andy Gillespie – keyboards, backing vocals
Ged Grimes – bass
Mel Gaynor – drums
Additional Musicians:
Sarah Brown – backing vocals
Clinton Outten – backing vocals

Download:

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