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A master songwriter at his best
Posted by: mgmcinnis from: Dallas, TX on
A friend of mine says that Mark Knopfler has been making the same record over and over again for years, and in a way, he's right. Each album uses the same ingredients--compelling lyrics that tell interesting (and often true) stories, catchy melodies, diverse influences (including blues, country, 1950s and '60s pop), and guitar work that is both subtle and grand--and each album often sounds similar to the last one.
And while for some artists this kind of constancy leads to dull repetition and lots of filler material, Mark Knopfler has fully found his voice as an artist and storyteller, and what he delivers is neither repetitive nor bland, but always moving.
Like most of Knopfler's post-Dire Straits material, Shangri-La does contain a few clunkers, but generally this album is more consistently solid from song to song than previous solo records. He mixes historical vignettes from American and British history, character studies on famous figures (Elvis Presley in "Back to Tupelo", and Sonny Liston in the unimaginatively titled "Song for Sonny Liston"), and even the occasional pointed political satire ("Don't Crash the Ambulance").
Ever since "Money For Nothing", each of Knopfler's records have contained at least one 'rocker' that seems designed to be 'the single', even if if never gets any airplay. Here, the 'single' is "Boom Like That", a song about Ray Kroc and the rise of the McDonald's restaurant empire. And amongst the catchy, bouncy, bluesy hooks and riffs are lyrics that insightfully comment on Kroc's unscrupulous business practices and inspire the listener to research the topic for himself/herself.
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
Knopfler is a great guitarist & storyteller
Posted by: Amerikaner from: Las Vegas on
Mark Knopfler has been regarded as a skilled guitarist and vocalist for many years, since back in his days with Dire Straits, and his solo albums of more recent years. His guitar methods are unique and recognizable (very skilled with BOTH hands) and his songwriting is often in the form of storytelling... about pop cultural icons or reflecting on the human condition and interaction. Anyway, all this makes for some great songs that keep drawing you back. To me, this is one of his best CDs.
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
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