You might recall these guys from The Breakfast Club sound track belting “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. They were one of the core bands of the New Wave / MTV ’80s scene, but they date back to the ’70s and have been working continuous if not successfully to this day. The core of the band lies with Jim Kerr (vocal) and Charlie Burchhill (guitar, keys); they’ve been together through thick and thin. This is their 16th disk, and it still has the gut moving power of the old sound, without making any concessions to days more apologetic lyrics and vocals. “Midnight Walking” recalls Missing Persons’ “Walking in LA.” It’s dark, moody and you have to pay close attention to hear what it’s trying to say – that’s not bad vocals, it’s even better music.
Title track “Big Music” carries a touch of EDM in the background, while this was always a synth-driven band they’ve not gone all in to the dance sound of the ’90s or the Double Aught’s. “Imagination” begins with a symphonic line, lets a brash and fuzzy bass line grow, and ultimately offers a toast to just about everybody on earth. Maudlin perhaps, but ultimately the sort of anthem that made synth pop the power house it still is. Bands come, bands go, and some bands hang on doing great work with minimal recognition feeding off the love their true fan base continues to hold for them. It’s a tight balance: some of old had to remain, but enough of the new needs to push us all forward.