Thanks to Anne-Marie Sykes for the following review...

Jim Kerr, the charismatic, energetic lead singer for the chart topping group, Simple Minds, has taken a brief hiatus from the band and has released his much anticipated CD. The self titled “Lost Boy AKA” is something which has divided Simple Minds fans upon hearing for very different reasons.

Jim, who is now in his early fifties, has been the front man for Simple Minds for the last 33 years, still has that essential voice, with his low to middle vocal range and renowned ability to entertain fans of old. With the release of “Lostboy”, there is the potential for Jim to grow a new fan base.

Songs such as “Refugee” have a raw edginess to it that is very modern and different to Simple Minds. An amazing use of guitars provided by Jim’s long time friend, Jez Coad who has also performed with Simple Minds on occasions.

“Return of the King” is undeniably Jim Kerr but is coloured with ‘grunge’ overtones. “Red Letter Day” is very 80’s inspired. “Bulletproof Heart” and “Lostboy” are both very simply constructed songs, but what really sells them, is the mastery and strength of the vocals.

'Nail Thru my Heart' and 'Soloman Solohead' are both best described as spatial sounding with awesome guitar riffs. The music is reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, Santana and Yngwie Malmsteen - with the unmistakable voide of Kerr - but with a hard, almost aggressive edge.

“Remember Asia” is relaxing with some involved riffs, but would not go astray on a contemporary, light romantic comedy soundtrack. I think that this song also has the potential to be a good commercial release.

“The Wait Parts 1 and 2” is another song with many different types of influences (Simple Minds, 80’s, grunge) – the keyboards really make this song come alive.

Simple Minds fans will recognise similar influences on “She fell in love with Silence” and “Shadowland”. Both great songs but (to me) very reminiscent of Simple Minds.

The bonus tracks of “Mr Silversmith”, “Karma to this Rain” and “Sad Stone Child” did not seem to fit well with the rest of the album. These extra tracks almost seem to have been included as an after thought. The extras are very experimental and they don’t fit in any particular genre. These would probably be better off on a second “LostBoy” album.

“Lostboy” has turned Jim Kerr into the boy he used to be - the passionate kid that, he claimed, he left behind. This solo project delves into a variety of different music genres – some of the songs would not be out of place on a Simple Minds album of old, but most explore a very different side to Jim Kerr and his amazing talent.

Overall, Jim Kerr’s first solo project reveals that such a seasoned performer has yet more potential to excite and entertain. Audiences in Europe have already been treated to Lostboy shows, and it has been very well received by fans old and new. There is definitely a market for LostBoy. Simple Minds fans will, without doubt, love this CD. Casual fans will also find this album very easy to listen to and enjoy.

Overall score: 7.5 out of 10





Review by Anne-Marie Sykes

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