As I really love both the work of Simple Minds and Leaether Strip, as soon as I saw this “tribute to Simple Minds” release from Claus Larsen, I immediately knew I would surely find something to enjoy greatly here. The first track is cleverly chosen, as it is one of the biggest Simple Minds hits back from the 1981; and who didn’t dance to “Love Song”? But Claus added something to the term “dance” here, since his cover is utterly danceable and even though you could have expected something harsher, this is disco! Not that it was ever disco in the very sense of the word, but the dance vibe is surely there. And even though the cover does not follow the original to the fullest and offers a bit of a darker dimension, it’s still pop.
It seems that Claus is keen on Empires and Dance as he chose three tracks from that release and again one of the greatest hits, “I Travel”. It would seem very hard to successfully cover such a great and timeless hit, but Claus again pulled it off, this time being a bit closer to the original version. But as we are used to guitars and Kerr’s voice, Claus gives us a pure synth pleasure here with his recognizable vocal; he offers us the Leather Strip adventures in the Simple Minds pop land. Great combo for the fans of both! Other two tracks he “borrowed” from Empires and Dance might have skipped the radar of those who were not into Simple Minds as much, but Larsen chose “Celebrate” and “Thirty Frames a Second”. And I again was really wondering how the second mentioned would sound since covering that one was not such an easy task. What I can consider a bit more experimental and heavier Simple Minds track sounds more solid in Leaether Strip version; it is a bit easier to follow the main idea and Claus turned even that one into some dance material.
No, I did not forget about “Waterfront” as I was again interested how that classic would sound and it sounds like a futuristic version! The nostalgia for the 80s has gone and I am fully able to listen to this one from a completely new perspective that Claus created here. “Life In A Day” does however puts us mentally back to the 1979 with the first notes as synth is still a synth. However with the first beats and Larsen’s vocal the track again transforms into the modern version of the classic; one brilliant contemporary synth pop piece. And even though technically a lot has changed up till 2016, something still has not; good taste in music and brilliant musicians, being Simple Minds or Leaether Strip. And if you can have both, yes please!