Reading through previous reviews on Amazon, Communiqué has received some criticism for sounding too similar to the bands debut release. Personally I believe this criticism to be a little unfair. Let’s face it, Dire Straits were in a lose lose situation with Communiqué. If they had pursued a different musical direction entirely they would be criticized, and if they followed the same musical path they would be criticized for sounding to much like the debut. Dire Straits chose the 2nd option, which personally I am grateful for, as part of the appeal of Communiqué is that whilst it contains musical signatures of the debut, it is a less obviously commercial album than its predecessor. Dire Straits in my view were at their best when they were releasing material that was less commercial. This isn’t because of any musical snobbery but I feel and hear that when the music was less aimed at the mainstream, the feel of the music seems more relaxed and natural to the band. Communiqué is often over looked as a 2nd rate release compared to their fantastic debut, but I think if you take this album within it’s own context it is possibly one of their finest moments. Tracks like News, Once Upon a time in the West, Single Handed Sailor, Portobello Belle (surely a warm up for Romeo and Juliet) and Follow me Home are superb additions to the Dire Straits back catalogue, and it is these songs which provide the necessary link between the debut self titled album and the successor Making Movies. I often find myself listening to this album more than the debut, which says a great deal about Communiqué and its long term appeal. Give this album a few listens and like me you will find yourself returning to it time and time again. Enjoy.