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Old 07-07-2019, 03:30 PM
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Default Simple Minds - Good News From The Next World (1995)

Simple Minds - Good News From The Next World (1995)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 360 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 111 Mb | Scans ~ 130 Mb | 00:48:24
Alternative Pop/Rock, Dance-Rock | Label: Virgin | # CDV 2760, 7243 8 39922 25

Good News from the Next World is the tenth studio album of original material by Scottish rock band Simple Minds, released in February 1995 by record label Virgin. The album garnered moderate commercial success; in the UK, it reached No. 2 and produced the two Top 20 hit singles "She's a River" (No. 9) and "Hypnotised" (No. 18).

Rock music, it could easily be said, should be big, bold and full of primary colours. It should sweep "through space, through time" as Jim Kerr sings, like a comet. It should, perhaps, "feel like a runaway train", even, if we're in a reckless, devil-may-care, gung ho sort of mood, it could last "from dusk to dawn". This is where Simple Minds come in.

They're a cartoon rock band, whiter than white, dinosaurs with attitude; they're Emerson, Lake & Palmer without the stage hooverer; they're a Soundgarden eager to please; or they're the bare-chested, rousing arousing trobadours Neil Diamond seems to think he is. This is a splendid state of affairs for those on the up, but for a band like Simple Minds, commercially and (before now) artistically on the wane, it's not far from them becoming the first Wishbone Ash of the next century, plodding on for the benefit of bachelor blokes with beards and being absolutely massive in Moldova.

pre-grunge, as recently as August 1991 in fact, Simple Minds played Manchester City's Maine Road ground: for all it counts now, it could have beenPorky August 1971. The workhouse isn't beckoning quite yet, their last album, Real Life, despite a sloppy Stephen Lipson production, managed 25 weeks in the British album charts. A decade, though, has passed since their last proper hit in America and that country is surely forever lost to them. Simple Minds' universe is contracting. They saluted the enw age and it sniggered in thier faces. They could make Blood On The Tracks or Searching For The Young Soul Rebels and nobody would take them seriously, apart from themselves. So what then do they do? It's obvious really.

When Don't You (Forget About me), written and produced by Keith Forsey, turned down by Billy Idol, went to Number 1 in America, Kerr churlishly disowned song and production. Now comes Good News From The Next World and it's produced by Keith Forsey. Hip hip hooray, for Forsey has the delicate touch Kerr needs when he's trying to turn everything into the hob-nailed Waterfront as you suspect he'd secretly like to do. Forsey seems to have a better grasp of Simple Minds' back catalogue and the essence of their truly outstanding songs - Factory, Up On The catwalk, I Travel, Sanctify Yourself - than Kerr himself.

There are nine tracks, all within a minute's length of each other. There are no covers, no remixes, no unlistenable codas (oh that The Stone Roses were so wise) and no flab apart from their own, occasional pomposity. Grunge, rap, hip hop, new country or indeed any musical developments since Journey's career began to flag have bypassed the group. In Simple Minds' case and in their case alone, this is definitely a good thing. Good News From The Next World cuts out the things Simple Minds do badly: gone are the silly flirtations with musics world and Celtic, as, mercifully, are Kerr's more worldly lyrical concerns. Bizarrely, they're sounding English these days, God knows how or why. There are no outlandish experiments, Simple Minds were never flexible enough for that; instead, they've elected to concentrate on what they do best - trying to thrill, and to this end most of the keyboards have gone, along with some lesser Minds, to leave just Kerr and sidekick from Life In A Day times, Charlie Burchill, plus a plethora of sessioners including Sting's drummer, Vinnie Colaiuta. They understand one fundamental thing about rock: if it's exciting, that's enough. Others have slightly better tunes, most have better lyrics and the Minds are looking a touch old and porky these days, but it's hard to imagine anyone so tub-thumpingly enthusiastic about breast-beating. This, in any parlance, is a result.

She's A RIver begins the album at a fair old gallop and in a sense it's the key to what Simple Minds are about. The lyrics are daft tripe about an alleged muse, but the feel, the musical twists, the hints of Promised You A Miracle make the whole much greater than the sum of its parts, genuinely exciting (if not moving) of course, yet never out of control or self-indulgent. It's dervish music made for wheeling around to and it's what seasonsed group watchers would expect and hope for.

7 Deadly Sins ("Blood is sweet, like a deep red river") and Criminal World ("I need you tonight") are close relatives of the opener, indeed no song is overdifferent to the rest, but nobody ever accused Simple Minds of being They Might Be Giants and a unified feel never had to mean stodge.

More interestingly, what limited chances Good News From The Next World takes, tend to work. Hypnotised is perhaps, after all this time, after all these years, their best song to date. the lyrics aren't down to the usual standard and the sonstant refrain of "I still remember the look in your eyes" is delivered with what even Kerr's old nemesis, P.W.Botha, would recognise as love - touchingly, Kerr and patsy Kensit are still married, three years on. The melody is gorgeous. Forsey gives Burchill's guitar room to gently further the cause. It's almost a ballad and they don't sound out of their depth. It still excites, but in whole new ways, similar to one-time equals sellers U2 did with One.

Another song to benefit from a more Spartan approach is And The Band Played On. The brittle semi-funk suggests that the band playing might just be the current incarnation of The Rolling Stones, only with significantly more swagger. It's also the only point, possibly in his whole career, where Kerr has sounded sexy. There are even a few strong lyrical ideas.

Of the remainder, Night Music is a spightly call to arms which even paul Gascoigne might spot as a sex analogy; My Life is intricate old-style SImple Minds, always seemingly about to burst into The American; Great Leap Forward is a rather weedy filler, there seemingly to make everything else sound better, but the closing This Time is superb, full of bangs, crashes and has Burchill's finest moments before collapsing in a crumpled, gasping heap.

It's back to basics for the new Simple Minds and, of course, they get it right more often than John Major. What will become of them? Time has moved on too much, even with this record, for the stadiums to be revisited. Maybe Kerr and Burchill will believe that less is more or maybe if Simple Minds aren't globally massive there is little point in them at all. Whatever, they sound like a band on their first album discovering the joy of making music, but they have the acumen of what they really are, a band on their 14th. They're hardly indispensable, they have as little to say as Whigfield, yet they know how to thrill, and life is always somehow slightly better when they're around. Good News From The Next World is as good as they'll ever get. It's a scream, in the best possible sense.


01. She's A River (5:32)
02. Night Music (5:24)
03. Hypnotised (5:53)
04. Great Leap Forward (5:36)
05. 7 Deadly Sins (5:11)
06. And The Band Played On (5:32)
07. My Life (5:15)
08. Criminal World (5:03)
09. This Time (4:58)

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