Simple Minds - “Direction of the Heart” album review
Simple Minds’ latest album is anything but simple. Since they haven’t released an album since 2018, audiences can probably expect more music following “Direction of the Heart”. For those who don’t know Simple Minds, their most recognizable song is, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. This song was featured in the classic film, The Breakfast Club, and has continued to be popular amongst high schools around the world.
The band, from Glasgow, England, formed in 1977. Their genre is considered rock though they vary in different types like pop and punk. Jim Kerr has been the lead singer of Simple Minds since day one, but that isn’t the case for the rest of the band. Over the years people have come and gone, but for this particular album there were seven members, including Kerr.
This album was made for those listeners who love 80s-vibe, mellow rock. It contains a very similar sound to that of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. It also seemed to contain a deeper meaning through the lyrics. An example being, “high on fumes and misery”. This line is in “Human Traffic” which touches on the subject of the world and its chaos.
Some of the best aspects of this album were the intros as well as the general beats. Many of the songs opened with a really dreamy sequence and would gradually crescendo into an upbeat verse or chorus continuing throughout the rest of the song. An example would be “Solstice Kiss” which has what sounds like birds chirping and a soft keyboard playing in the background.
There were quite a few lyrics that stood out, starting with, “you’ve got the vision thing” from “Vision Thing”. Instead of saying something like “you have real vision” or even “ideas for the future”, this is the line they used. It was comical. Another lyric was, “And if the world stops spinning, there’d be no sign/No future love, only days behind”. These are some powerful lyrics. They hit hard when listening to “First You Jump”.
In “Who Killed Truth”, the line, “But pretty soon you’ll soon be running” was very wordy. Typically, you don’t use one word twice in a single phrase. It was an odd choice. “The Walls Came Down” had a repeated “da-da-da” towards the end of the song. It was very upbeat and overall, a fun piece to listen to.
There were several things this album’s songs had in common. One noticeable similarity was the harmonies. In each of the songs, there was at least one verse or chorus in which a powerful harmony was performed. A great example of this was in “Direction of the Heart”. Another commonality was the bizarre rhythm change in the choruses. They would begin with the same rhythm as the rest of the song and then a random chord or time signature changed.
Overall, this was a great album. This band has successfully maintained its sound for decades. They were able to create a feeling of pure bliss through both their lyrics and their instruments. They really embody the phrase “an oldie, but a goodie”.
Reviewer’s Favorite Song(s): “First You Jump”, “The Walls Came Down”
Reviewer’s Least Favorite Song(s): “Natural”, “Planet Zero”
Isabel Sweet is a first-year majoring in communications. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
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Isabel Sweet is a freshman with an intended major in Film Production at Penn State University. She is originally from Felton, DE. Outside of CommRadio she is involved with After the Whistle, PSU Club Swim, DASH, Dear Hero Program, Blue & White Society, Student Film Org., PSNtv, and College of Communication Student Council. Within these organizations she has been credited for camera operation, co-director, scoreboards, and more! She’s currently working on two student films and hopes to learn from every experience. Her goal is to work with a big entertainment & media corporation.