Simple Minds's Direction Of The Heart: elder statesmen with nothing left to prove

Veteran Scot-rock stadium flouncers Simple Minds continue their autumnal purple patch with Direction Of The Heart

Simple Minds: Direction Of The Heart cover art
(Image: © BMG)

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Conventional wisdom holds that Simple Minds made a Faustian pact in the mid-80s, trading their future-facing post-punk promise for the cop-out option of bloated stadium success. 

Which is mostly true, but Jim Kerr and Charlie Burchill have engineered a respectable creative comeback over the past decade, revisiting their early synth-rock sound through wiser middle-aged eyes, scoring Top 10 albums and generally warm reviews in the process. 

Direction Of The Heart continues this trajectory with sleek, spangled, guitar-keening anthems like First You Jump and the soulful, croaky-voiced Planet Zero. Looking backwards to look forward, Kerr and Burchill also revisit their clunky 1978 funkrock number Act Of Love and pay fond tribute to the late Michael Been from The Call, an early support band, with a rousing cover of The Walls Came Down from 1983. 

Despite a handful of anodyne plodders, it is difficult to dislike Simple Minds in this nostalgic late-career mode, elder statesmen with nothing left to prove.

Stephen Dalton

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.