I eagerly awaited this fourth release by Mark Knopfler. I will say that Golden Heart and Sailing to Philadelphia it isn't. This album is much more in line with his last release The Ragpicker's Dream and Neck and Neck. Gone are the upbeat fast paced songs like Darling Pretty, What it is, Speedway at Nazareth, and Why Aye Man. Instead we are treated to a much more mellow album on par with songs such as Tahitian Skies, There'll be some changes made, and Daddy's Gone to Knoxville. Gone too are the folk like songs, Je Suis Desole, Done with Bonaparte, Prairie Wedding, and Fare thee Well Northumberland, that, for me, are what really makes Knopfler so great. That being said, this is still a great album. I especially enjoyed 5.15a.m., back to tupelo, and song for sonny liston. There is a ghost of his former songs in this new collection and if you listen really hard, you can still hear snippets of guitar riffs from previous Knopfler songs. I'm happy I bought this album. Will I play it as often as often as Golden Heart and Sailing to Philadelphia, probably not, but it will still come out, especially when I want to introduce friends to the beauty and diversity that is Mark Knopfler.
***Since I wrote this review in 2004, I haven't come to change my opinion on this album. It is equally as good, and is s is ways better than his previous albums. Knopfler's talent and craftsmanship continues to evolve, and this album just be heard to appreciate where he came from, and where he is going.
First off I must admit I am the world's biggest fan of MK. Loved the DVD, real personal, great to see him and the band and hear his thoughts. My favorite tune is Shangri-La. Just sooooo beautiful !! 5:15 am , cool start to the album, whatever guitar he used weaves a fantastic beat and melody. As usual the songwriting is superb, but what sends me into my MK funk is his suttle but oh so cool guitar playing. I'm so glad to see he has recovered from his accident. I guess now I just have to wait another couple years for his next masterpiece.
What a piece of work. This cd is wonderfully produced and mixed as are almost all of Knopflers albums. No it is not Ragpickers Dream, or Sailing to Philadelphia, but he has already done that. This album is Mark continually maturing into a musical icon, with diversity. Todays pop stars can't touch the talent that this guy has. This is a well rounded album from the pop hit " Boom like that " to a beautiful easy tune like "Whoop de doo" . You will not be unhappy with your purchase. It also comes in SACD, and vinyl of you can find it.
I admit - I purchased this album the day it was released with great anticipation...and was disappointed. It sounded homogeneous - nothing that hooked me by standing out. My compatriot from Coquitlam's review was excellent and summed up my feelings. 2 months ago, I bought the "One Take Radio Sessions EP" which contains 7 of the songs from "Shangri-La". Suddenly I was listening to all these songs differently - notably "Song for Sonny Liston" and have now gone back and played "Shangri La" many times over. Perhaps this is the genius that is Mark Knopfler and his guitar work. In 1978, I didn't care for the first Dire Straits album either. Mark hooked me with his soundtrack for "Local Hero" and then I discovered "Love over Gold" and the rest, as they say, is history. I encourage you to follow me on this. I guarantee you, Mark does not disappoint. Here's to album #5!
Hello Guys, This last SACD from Dire Straits front man Mark Knopfler is just GREAT. There are all ingredient of what were popular with Dire Straits: amazing guitar with a lazy voice in background. With his 4th solo album, Mark Knopfler shows us that is still on the track better than never. The songs pass from rock and roll (Boom Like That) to folk (Whoop De Do) to blues (Song For Sonny Liston) with such a facility that several musicians must be jalous of that!
Seems Mark Knopfler has embraced the 5.1 format with releases of this and most of the DS library. Well balanced without being imposing, the vocals are just so clear compared with my standard CD of this.