album review | SYNTH-ROCK

Simple Minds, ‘Big Music’

Although they didn’t actually write “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” Scotland’s Simple Minds will forever be remembered for that hypnotic No. 1 hit from 1985’s “The Breakfast Club” soundtrack. This new album, the band’s first in five years, is a nostalgic valentine to fans; singer Jim Kerr and company offer up slickly danceable, backbeat-driven synth-rock that has enough energy to revitalize the faithful, but maybe not much more. Simple Minds again flirt with being dubbed U2 wannabes in “Imagination,” and sound like a poor man’s Bowie in “Blood Diamonds.” They’re more effective in the slower, atmospheric “Honest Town,” a tribute to Kerr’s Glasgow upbringing inspired by driving through the city with his mother before she died, and a great, accelerating cover of the Call’s “Let the Day Begin.” Some other songs miss the mark, including the clumsy “Concrete and Cherry Blossom” and the annoying “Kill or Cure,” but diehard fans will still find plenty to like. (Out Tuesday)STEVE MORSE

Esssential “Honest Town”

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