by The The
Released: Jan 1983
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.