Review Summary: ...regular ol' job...
To pretend as though Simple Minds didn’t have a cultural impact in their decades long run would be naïve. But to pretend that that impact isn’t long gone and drowned in oblivion would be foolish. And someone who’s been at it for as long as these guys should now have theoretically gone through all stages of irrelevance and its realisation. First, as their washed out New Wave started fading in popularity, which they didn’t realise and continued to play around with until their ultimate fall off everyone’s radar. That followed by overdue change of style, but still quite self-unaware and indulging into absolute, near-unlistenable cheesiness. And then finally embracing the fact that they are indeed of nobody’s concern anymore, starting to make music for themselves and for that handful of loyal fans they still have, not trying to grab new audiences and stylistic horizons. And here we are again with another record just like that.
It should be understood that Walk Between Worlds
is not trying to wow you with its song-writing abilities, instrumental greatness or over-their-heads aiming ambitions. Simple Minds are not kids anymore, nor are they young. This project to them is not just a musical escapade they do on the side, which unexpectedly got famous and they now have to keep up with times. It is not that anymore. Now it is merely, straightforwardly, plainly, clearly, trivially, primitively, and simply nothing more than work. Music is work for them. This is what they do. And Walk Between Worlds
is about as banal a work as one would do on their day-to-day work in the office.
Straight away, the album’s opener, “Magic”, makes it clear just what kind of album this is going to be. The song is laughably simple, but moderately catchy. And that is really what you can expect from any cut here. At their best, the songs will be harmless fun, at worst a bland, but not excruciating, bore. Essentially, talking about one of the songs is like talking about all of them. They all consist of straightforward, silly lyrics and an instrumental mix of smoothed out guitars, soft drums and a heavy synth layer with range-lacking vocals.
I wish I could point out at least one song that doesn’t fall into the line of sameness as the others do, but I can’t. Some might have a slightly different song-writing structure or progression, but they’re ultimately dragged down by the repetitive instrumentation, which often feels rather disorganised and messy, when it doesn’t try to sound like every other cut on here. Walk Between Worlds
is therefore and unquestionably just a regular old work. It is like going through forms and papers on your work desk, all crisp and plain, still smelling of the sickening Xerox machine it was spawn out of. But you do this, because it earns you a buck. And then again, there are always those who will appreciate your work.