Neon Lights is Simple Minds' covers album. Frankly, these projects often serve little purpose beyond announcing that the artists concerned have run out of original ideas. With the Simple Minds' new album of freshly composed material, Our Secrets Are the Same, now shelved due to legal complications, the Minds have opted to doff their caps in the direction of the heroes of their youth, such as David Bowie, Lou Reed, and the Doors. This is the material the band performed when they were scrawny Glaswegian punks called Johnny & the Self-Abusers. The arrangements here are slightly dated techno-rock efforts, albeit without the expansive pomp and bluster of their stadium-straddling 1980s heyday. Even so, Neon Lights is probably too respectful. Many of these numbers–Echo & the Bunnymen's "Bring on the Dancing Horses," Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World"–are identikit presentations, while electro-rock assaults on Them's "Gloria" and the Doors "Hello I Love You" are monotonous and misguided. A very interesting revision of Pete Shelley's "Homosapien" and a faithful, powerful reading of the Velvet Underground's "All Tomorrow's Parties" are much better.