Everything hurts

First, let me explain to you (as promised earlier) why Simple Minds. I have no memory of how I first came to know of Simple Minds. I’m guessing it would’ve been through MTV, in happier times, you know when they used to show actual music videos (i know, gasp!). I have a sneaking suspicion it might have been Hypnotized that caught my ear and from there on I was a goner. I know many U2 fans are Simple Minds fans, because they’ve been around at the same times and are sort of similar, musicwise. But I digress. So I went to the local library to listen more, complete albums of Simple Minds. And eventually ended up in my local record dealer to purchase a stack of cd’s. Yes, people used to buy actual hard copies containing not only the music, but also album art and sometimes, if we were ever so lucky, the lyrics to the songs on the album. I ended up loving Real Life so much that it became one of the albums on the proverbial list of five albums to take with me on a deserted island. It still gives me such feels when listening to it. Most of the times when I pop it on, after a good while without it, I cry. No seriously, I cry actual tears, because that album means so much to me. It’s been with me for a long time and it’s like a light at the end of a tunnel. Simple Minds has always been to me like coming home from an awesome trip: you kinda feel sad, because it was so much fun and so exciting, but still feel all warm and fuzzy inside because you know, home. That’s Simple Minds to me.

Let me also elaborate on the meaning of U2 in my life. I know I’ve been through this, probably around the time Ordinary Love came out, but bear with me. U2 has been a lifelong friend of mine, the light of my dark years, the band that has literally, literally saved my life, lifted me up from times I’ve felt like I could throw myself off of a cliff. Through my tormented teenage years I crawled out of my depressive stints to hear how Bono told me he couldn’t live with or without me, how he didn’t want to be a slug and how I got the right shoes to get me through the night. Love was blindness and like Bono, I didn’t wanna see and I would just wrap the night around us and finally fall asleep, with his soothing voice telling me how love was clockworks and cold steel. It was pure love, and by god, it still is.

Now, the thing is this. U2 put out a new album (can we get an amen since it actually did come out this year and not 2015), Songs of Innocence. It’s by no means a bad record, I actually quite like it. But I’m not too pumped about it. I want to be, I desperately want to be. I crave to feel the unconditional love I do with Pop and Achtung Baby and Zooropa, even Atomic Bomb. But I don’t. I don’t feel it. I was so hyped up about Ordinary Love, because it was like going home. It was everything I knew U2 to be. It wasn’t same old, same old. It was new, but it was cozy like the best pair of jeans you have, the ones that are hanging on, not completely dissolved, by a thread and some good will, but damnit, they’re the most comfortable pair of jeans you’ve ever put on. I was so hyped up about the forthcoming new album, because surely, surely Ordinary Love was something of a sign of the direction of the new album. But it wasn’t. And then came along Simple Minds with Blindfolded, telling me they’re releasing a new album and oh, here’s Honest Town to listen to as well.

And I got so emotional over both of the singles. Blindfolded, because it was that Simple Minds, that pair of jeans. Honest Town with it’s bittersweet lyrics and Tron/Daft Punk-ish beat just blew me away. So I was super anxious to hear the rest of the album. And they didn’t let me down. Big Music is perfection in every way you could imagine. It’s new, but it’s old. It’s like a drawer with not only that pair of jeans, but with every perfect pair you’ve ever owned, every comfy hoodie and the best pair of shoes you’ve ever had, placed right under the drawer.

The thing that hurts the most is the fact that parts of Big Music sound a lot like what the U2 sound, that my U2 sound is. On some occasions I can actually see the Edge playing the guitar and hear Bono doing the vocal. But then I realize it’s not. It’s not U2, it’s not Songs of Innocence, it’s Simple Minds and it’s Big Music. It hurts that this should be the record U2 made, Songs of Innocence and I should be hyped about that, listening to it on repeat. But it’s not.

It’s Big Music and it hurts so much I just want to curl up in a ball and cry.

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