For me, this Simple Minds album is the perfect example of a grower.
When I first purchased the album and sat down for a listen, I was only familiar with the bombastic rock of 1985's Once Upon a Time,
of which I'd quickly become a fan, and hits like "Alive and Kicking" and "Don't You (Forget About Me)".
So when I got this one going, I was dismayed by what I was hearing. What was this thing? It sounded like they were all falling asleep! However, subsequent listens have changed my view drastically, to the point where I cannot deny that this is the pinnacle not only of the band's career, but maybe synth/pop as a whole.
The atmosphere of the keyboards mingling with the understated guitars, along with the steady yet catchy rhythm section, all combine to make it a hypnotic, captivating musical experience, while Jim Kerr's singing of quasi-religious imagery fits perfectly.
None of the songs are particularly weak, but the real stand-outs for me include "Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel", "Promised You a Miracle" (I can't work out why - there's nothing particularly grabbing about the melody, yet it works so well), the instrumental "Somebody Up There Likes You", and the title track.
After this album, Simple Minds went into their rock period for a while, and whilst I've never lost my enjoyment of Once Upon a Time
and - to a lesser degree - 1984's Sparkle in the Rain,
nothing tops New Gold Dream
for pure synth/pop pleasure. It really is a classic.Rated:
by Reviewer: The Doctor