His style may have softened since the DireStraits days but this can only be a good thing whenone recalls the bloated synths of their latter years. Shangri-La is Knopfler living his cowboy dream which seems to be what keeps his spirit for good music as fresh as it ever was.--Steve Beefmark
First of all, the album is majestically produced. Every chord and note played is perfect, they emphasise the lyrics and dance around the subject with a penache that only Knopfler can produce.
Of more note are the brilliantly satirical and often witty storytelling achieved by Knopfler's lyrics. "Boom, Like That" is a song which I cannot stop going back to over and over again. The subject of Ray Kroc's somewhat unscrupulous success with the early McDonalds restaurants is brilliantly depicted by the track. Other tracks of note include the oft-graphic but very entertaining "Don't Crash the Ambulance" which finishes off the album with aplomb.
This is not a Dire Straits stlye collection of music. Despite being relatively young, my Dad introduced me to the wonderful World of Dire Straits. This is equally brilliant, but totally different.
I cannot reccommend this album highly enough - if at first you don't like it, just put it on again and listen carefully. You cannot fail to be rewarded for just listening.
If you are willing to follow the direction he has chosen now, however, this album is simply billiant. A real grower. Mark has left the stadiums behind, the 'ego' that wants more success, and since he has gone solo, he has done nothing but exploring the roots of his music and putting that into great songs. What an exciting journey that is.
"Shangri-La" is brilliant in that respect. I have never heard him and his band blend country, rock, blues, folk, bluegrass... so effortlessly. Behind every chord change, every note, every turn in every song, every line he sings, there's a landscape of music to be discovered. It happens so subtly, so sweetly, you cannot but be moved. It all sounds so direct, so easy. His guitar playing works in exactly the same way: subtle and perfect for the music he is making now. There's so much more behind the notes.
Take "Back to Tupelo" for example. In the first verses, Mark is almost hollering on one chord, played so sweet, you almost don't notice it, lamenting the direction Elvis has chosen. Then the others join, soft keyboards, drums and bass, giving it a bittersweet country twist, at the chorus, ther's that breathtaking 7th-chord, which reminds us of real blues, echoing the lyrics of the songs, singing about the Mississippi Elvis has forgotten. I don't know know many musicians who accomplish that kind of songwriting.
So follow Mark and his band on this musical journey, let them take you to Philadelphia and back again. You won't be disappointed.
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions