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by The The
Soul Mining by The The
Released: Jan 1983
Label: Epic
The The's Matt Johnson had been tooling around for years, trying to get his career off the ground, when he released Soul Mining in 1983. Highlighted by the near-perfect should've-been-huge single "This Is the Day," this album features the work of an original voice that married the introspective singer-songwriter tradition with crowd-pleasing synth-pop and a dusting of the avant-garde. Over a career, Johnson's nonstop navel-gazing can grow tiring, but there is often a lightness to the music here that balances out his moody lyrics. The all-star guests include Jools Holland, who offers superb piano work on "Uncertain Smile," which joins "Perfect" and "This Is the Day" as the LP's best cuts.
Nick Dedina