Simple Minds - Direction Of The Heart

Simple Minds – Direction Of The Heart

You may well have heard the single ‘Vision Thing‘ on the radio, where Simple Minds seemingly effortlessly roll back the years to their glory days. It’s a pulsating record with a real vibrancy to it, even if Jim Kerr‘s vocals here seem to have adopted a Bob Dylan like nasal drawl. No matter, it’s a fine record all the same, and I’m happy to report that the same goes for its parent album, Direction Of The Heart. Most of the time, that is, at least.

First You Jump‘ has a kind of Doors feel to it: “and if the world stops spinning, there’d be no end, every twist, every turn, back again / I’d call on you, no matter what you put me through.” It sounds enormous, and I imagine this would sound amazing in an arena environment. I think that’s one of the things I admire the most about Simple Minds actually – while some bands are labelled by the music press as “stadium bands” and spend their entire career trying to distance themselves from it, they wholeheartedly seem to have embraced that whole aesthetic and perhaps even deliberately play up to it, writing a bunch of songs that can be described as nothing BUT stadium anthems. And what’s more, they steadfastly refuse to acknowledge this as anything but a positive thing. It’s quite refreshing, frankly.

Human Traffic‘ might be their best song they’ve put out since their heyday, commercially speaking – all the hallmarks of their classic sound incorporated into that one song – a bit of folk, slightly Waterboys-ish, a joyously anthemic chorus that sounds to me like a surefire gig closer to send fans home with huge smiles on their faces.

Who Killed Truth?‘ is in a similar vein but slightly less effective, feeling a bit ‘Minds by numbers’ to me, before ‘Solstice Kiss‘, which opens side two on the splendid vinyl release, slows things down a little but somehow rocks hard at the same time, much like an early-ish U2 track. Along with ‘Human Traffic‘, it’s the best thing on Direction Of The Heart, especially when Sarah Brown‘s stunning backing vocals enter the fray. It would be pushing it to say that it’s as effective as Clare Torry‘s introduction on Pink Floyd‘s ‘The Great Gig In The Sky‘ but its in that kind of ball park.

The rest of the record is never less than listenable but somehow never quite reaches those heights again (‘Planet Zero‘ arguably the best of the rest). It’s a fine album that contains some of their best work, nevertheless, and a good addition to their already impressive discography.

Direction Of The Heart is released on 21st October through BMG.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.