SIMPLE MINDS: Ballad Of The Streets EP (Virgin)
Over the last few years Simple Minds seem to have got in a bit of a rut. Every single they release sounds decidedly similar—a bit of an anthemic singalong chorus and lots of mysterious verses that no one, not even Jim Kerr’s mum, could understand. They’ve obviously had a “re-think”, as these three new songs are a completely different kettle of fish, but I’m not sure the change has been for the better. There’s a political theme—“Belfast Child” is some sort of hymn for peace in Ireland, “Mandela Day” looks forward to the day when jailed ANC leader Nelson Mandela is released in South Africa and “Biko” is a version of Peter Gabriel’s song about the murdered South African leader Steve Biko. The problem is, the music tries to sound as weighty and important as the words, with lots of slow serious bits and complicated sections. Very clever it may be, but it’s also distressingly boring.