Direction Of The Heart
Direction Of The Heart is Simple Minds’ 18th studio album. It is also their first album since 2018’s Walk Between Worlds. Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill remain the core of the band, and they have been part of the Simple Minds ride for 45 years. Over that time they have learned a great deal and have consistently released a string of brilliant albums. Direction Of The Heart however is one of the best albums they have made. It encompasses everything brilliant about the band and synthesizes into one album. It is a stunning album from beginning to end.
Burchill seems to be having the time of his life with his instrumentation. “Solstice Kiss” is just one example of his incredible guitar skills and the sounds he achieves. Not only does the music compliment the lyrics, it is down energetic and instantly accessible. The big sound is present and accounted for and it has never sounded better. The layered sounds mixed with multiple vocals equals a fantastic listening experience.
Perhaps the new enthusiasm felt in this album comes from the band revisiting its past. “Act Of Love” dates back to 1977 but has been left unrecorded until this album. They have not tried to recreate 1978 Simple Minds, but have updated the song for today and that makes the song even more vital. It has the trademarks of classic Simple Minds but is timeless in its approach. And it is Kerr and Churchill looking back that makes the album even more current. They simply adapt and adopt previous techniques for a very strong album.
The album closes with a cover, “The Walls Came Down”, originally by The Call. Not only is it the perfect closing song, it serves as a tribute to Michael Breen, who wrote the song for The Call, who toured with Simple Minds in the 1980s. He passed away in 2010, and Simple Minds covered his music on 2014’s Big Music (“Let The Day Begin”). It also forms perfect bookends of paying tribute to friends and family lost. But again, it is more a rally call than a tribute.
In 45 years, Simple Minds have come a very long way. They have made some of the most important music during that time. With Direction Of The Heart, they have brought it full circle while not becoming a retro sounding band. This is a very progressive album, the same way Street Fighting Years showed a band not only willing but eager for change. After all these years, they are still searching for the sound and on Direction Of The Heart they just might have found it.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: SIMPLE MINDS – DIRECTION OF THE HEART