Album Review, Simple Minds, "Graffiti Soul"

This is the sound of the New Wave rock legends emerging from the shadows with a re-energized and sparkling cluster of sophisticated rock, plus a dash of shimmering pop.

There is a cohesion and swagger to Graffiti Soul that echoes the soundscapes of Simple Minds' classic 80s albums. Lyrically, frontman Jim Kerr explores the themes of rebirth and redemption, especially on the soaring and hypnotic This Is It, where he sings, "I'll organize myself, with all the chances missed"—the impassioned cry of a band that was in many ways cheated by destiny of the role allocated to U2. Elsewhere, the likes of Blood Type O and the title track reveal a depth and a range to their music that Bono and co are no longer capable of. Which begs the question: why is a treasure like this only available in Japan as an import?

Mark Liddell
10th July, 2009
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