'Good News' bad news for 'Minds' fans

By Jason Fierstein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Good News From the Next World

Simple Minds

Virgin Records

Simple Minds are alive, and have kicked through the '80s time capsule that was buried to never be opened again.

Simple Minds received cult status following their Brat Pack-era hit, "Don't You (Forget About Me)" and has never seemed to achieve quite the same pop status since. Good News From the Next World, Simple Minds' first album in nearly four years, is an attempt to cloak the same songs that the Minds put out nearly ten years ago.

Jim Kerr, frontman and lead singer of the Scottish pop/rock outfit, admits that it was depression and emotional baggage that drove him and the Minds from the spotlight in the 1980s. Good News From the Next World is Kerr's inspiration sandwich; according to Kerr and guitarist/keyboardist Charlie Burchill, the duo have "found their muse" to recreate lyrics and generate ideas.

Good News From the Next World is a metaphorical monster. Tracks are laden with a multitude of comparisons to religious icons and Gothic, passionate love temperaments. Simple Minds lack subtleness in their poetry; everything is laid out immaculately so that what you see is what you get.

The album's first single release, "She's a River" is actually a smooth, rhythmic tune with a larger-than-life feel. The track seems to be one of few songs on Good News that carries any sincere feel to it. "Hypnotized" fits the qualifications for generic tender love song: "If you've got a heart that burns inside/ Let me get inside/ let me tangle with the flames if you've got a light that burns inside/ The heat will rise and melt down once again".

Simple Minds ride on attempts. Kerr and Burchill create worth in their music on Good News From the Next World, but the elemental and basic pieces don't seem to epoxy the album together in coherent fashion.

Scottish teens rave furiously in their kilts when the name Simple Minds is brought into conversation, but American youth smile and yawn.

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