New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)Simple Minds
I along with most people really only know their one big hit, Don't You (Forget About Me), so this was a real treat to hear the band a few years prior. First thing of note to me was how involved the bass playing is; every song has a slick bass line that drives them forward. The layering of the mix with different synth sounds along with the rest of the band makes for a really fun soundscape that shifts with each song. Overall I’d say I was definitely not expecting 80’s pop to be so fine tuned; make no mistake, this is an album firmly planted in the 80’s, but even 40 years on now, it still sounds great. Extra points for so many of the album's 9 songs hitting the 5-minute mark. Top pick from first listen is "Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel." Even though this is the shortest song, the bass line drives the groove right from the get-go, the drum playing perfectly syncopated and I love the sparse hits from the synth, it creates such a vibe. Shout out to the single "Glittering Prize" and it’s ethereal like synths and constantly moving bass line.