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Lostboy! Aka Jim Kerr - Review

Lostboy! Aka Jim Kerr

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

JIM Kerr will forever be synonymous as the voice of Simple Minds, the huge ’80s act whose glittering array of hits included I Promised You A Miracle, Mandela Day and Don’t You Forget About Me.

Somewhat belatedly, perhaps, he’s decided to launch a solo career in the guise of Lostboy! But like its extended title – aka Jim Kerr – suggests, he’s not attempting to re-invent himself that much.

Rather, the eponymous album is more of a throwback to the weighty pop that Simple Minds delivered, albeit shorn of the excitement or anthemic bursts of that band’s greatest hits.

Coming from Kerr, you’d expect a certain quality, which is present and correct. He’s aware of how to create an epic sound, knows what constitutes a radio-friendly melody and trades well on those distinct vocals.

But time seems to have done him few favours in terms of creativity and this feels less like a bold new chapter in a career than a belated attempt to reclaim the success of his heyday.

Hence, Lostboy! Aka Jim Kerr underwhelms as a comeback album and sounds lost in time.

Tracks like album opener Refugee threaten a new dawn that’s never realised, a wailing synth loop and some widescreen production values giving rise to the closest thing the LP gets to a headrush moment. Kerr even temporarily attempts to adopt a grittier style of vocal.

But tracks like She Fell In Love With Silence and former single Shadowland struggle to really differentiate themselves from latter day Simple Minds, as well as owing a passing nod to James.

Not that this is too much of a surprise, either, because production comes from Jez Coad (who worked behind the desk on the latest two Simple Minds albums), who also plays guitars and keyboards, while the drums come from Mel Gaynor, Simple Minds’ drummer since 1983. The only real newcomer, in fact, is Charlie Jones on bass (a veteran of five albums with Robert Plant, two with Page/Plant and three with Goldfrapp).

Of the tracks worth really seeking out, Red Letter Day is a fun throwback to Simple Minds pomp, with some distinct guitar riffing, Remember Asia, finds Kerr nicely trading vocally on his admiration for David Bowie, and Solomon Solohead offers a darker spot.

But while there’s nothing majorly wrong with this debut session, it’s just not adventurous enough to cast Kerr in a new light. Simple Minds fans, while enjoying the similarities, may also wonder why Kerr didn’t just bother reconvening the band.

Download picks: Refugee, Red Letter Day, Soloman Solohead

Track listing:

  1. Refugee
  2. She Fell In Love With Silence
  3. Shadowland
  4. Return Of The King
  5. Red Letter Day
  6. Remember Asia
  7. Bulletproof Heart
  8. Lostboy!
  9. Nail Through My Heart
  10. Solo Man Solo Head
  11. The Wait
    Bonus Tracks
  12. Mr. Silversmith
  13. Karma To This Rain
  14. Sad Stone Child

  1. This album’s much better than this review suggests. Yes, there are Simple Minds elements, but he’s clearly moving forward. Try listening to it again

    Neil    May 18    #