Black & White 050505

Studio Album by released in 2005
Black & White 050505's tracklist:
Stay Visible
Home
Stranger
Different World
Underneath the Ice
The Jeweller, Part 2
A Life Shot in Black & White
Kiss the Ground
Dolphins

Black & White 050505 review

Simple Minds were the most successful Scottish band of the 80's. In an epic lifespan of 25 years and total worldwide album sales of 30 million, Simple Minds have come a very long way from the mean streets of Glasgow, evolving into an epic-sounding world-class band playing the biggest arenas in the world. They have influenced bands as diverse as current favorites Bloc Party and Muse, as well as Moby, Manic Street Preachers and Stereophonics along the way. Now after a brief hiatus Simple Minds are back with Black & White 050505 (thusly named when recording ended on May 5, 2005). It recalls the sweeping, vast sound that characterized their biggest hit albums, Sparkle In The Rain, Once Upon A Time and Street Fighting Years. Black & White 050505, recorded in Italy, Holland and then mixed in Los Angeles by the legendary Bob Clearmountain (Roxy Music, Rolling Stones, INXS), is a return to form for the band and should see the emergence of a whole new generation of fans as well as satisfying their current ones.

The opener Stay Visible starts of a mixture of strings and piano before the drums kick in 1 minute in to herald the return of the kings. Followed by the first single, Home, you already get the sense something great is about to happen. It recalls classic Simple Minds with a driving rhythm and the distinctive Burchill guitar sound. Jeweller makes an reappearance having previously shown up on "the lost album" Our Secrets Are The Same and it earns its place among a strong group of songs. The title track Black and White does nothing to spoil the momentum. The closer Dolphins seems the perfect ending to what is definitely their best recording in a very long time. Black & White 050505 is quite simply stunning. No excess baggage in terms of filler tracks. Just nine songs of equal high quality which sound fresh and still manage to allude to some of Simple Minds quieter moments from their back catalogue.

With a sudden resurgence of '80s new wave from both revivalist acts (The Killers, Interpol) and reunions of the old guard (Duran Duran), the time was certainly right for other veteran acts to "get back in the ring," so to speak. And Simple Minds did just that, with the release of Black & White 050505. Founding members Jim Kerr (vocals) and Charlie Burchill (guitar) are back once more, with an album that manages to incorporate both elements of their earlier, best-known work (such as 1985's Once Upon A Time), as well as modern sounds. Maybe there's something good about all this '80s nostalgia – inspiration for older acts to issue surprisingly strong albums, as evidenced by Black and White 050505.

(06.09.2005)
Rate review4.29
Total votes - 34


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