3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even the poorest is still great
I was just a kid when this album came out. I admit at the time I was disappointed. My head was still very much into Reggatta De Blanc. But as I have grown older I've liked this album more and more. I still listen to this album alot even now. The problem with this album is that it verges on the cheesy pop stuff at times, on tracks such as De Do Do Do... and Man In A...
Published on 5 Oct 2007 by Mike
3.0 out of 5 stars Shadows in the Rain
Possibly the least best of all of their excellent albums but still a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Coming after the first 2 classic albums this feels like something of a disappointing record and was really the beginning of the band becoming a more thoughtful concern and slowing down the tempo. But even the change of musical direction couldn't stunt the creativity and...
Published on 16 Nov 2011 by ratmonkey
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even the poorest is still great,
I was just a kid when this album came out. I admit at the time I was disappointed. My head was still very much into Reggatta De Blanc. But as I have grown older I've liked this album more and more. I still listen to this album alot even now. The problem with this album is that it verges on the cheesy pop stuff at times, on tracks such as De Do Do Do... and Man In A Suitcase. But when you listen more closely you start to appreciate the creativty of Sting, Summers and Copeland merging together to create a work of art on songs such as Voices Inside My Head and Shadows In The Rain amazing guitars from Summers. To Driven To Tears and When The World Is Running Down... fantastic driving drums and bass. Don't Stand So Close To Me is the all time classic on this album and who could argue? This is probably the poorest of the Police albums but that doesn't mean it isn't any good, in fact it is still a great album.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Police's Beatles For Sale= an excellent album,
I bought this album because I wanted to finally explore some of the Police's other early songs, having owned only The Police 2CD compilation and the last two albums. It has buckets of the classic Police 'soundscape' which I love so much. Zenyatta Mondatta is I guess anchored by the two songs that most people probably know best and which were singles- 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' and 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da'. Both are classic Police and the latter in particular sends you into that magical Police world of the four elements: Copeland's fabulous drumming, Andy's sublime clean guitar tones and Sting's bass and vocals. 'Driven To Tears'is a competent track with some nice sounds and atmosphere, but the third song 'Voices Inside My Head' is better, a good quasi-instrumental to which Sting adds only two simple lines of lyrics. One of the two forgotten Police classics (for me at least!) on this album which I am delighted to have discovered is 'When The World Is Running Down...', bathed beautifully in Andy Summer's fantastic chorus guitar effects and improved further by an excellent bass line interval in the middle. It ends nicely too with the verse repeating as it fades-out, which I liked a lot. The other great little song is 'Man In A Suitcase', a fairly simple and short ska style song, but its bare sound and upbeat feel makes it really pleasant and for me addictive. This song begins brilliantly with a typically incredible Copeland drum roll to bring the verse in at the beginning- listen out for it! 'Canary in a Coalmine' is a real gem, possibly the third best song after the singles and in my personal top ten Police songs. It's frantic and loopy with great rhyming lyrics. But possibly the best part is the slowdown around 1:27 which brings in a great piano line to start the song back up again, listen out for it too! 'Bombs Away' is an interesting number, not the best Police track ever but has some strong political implications in its lyrics and is rescued a little by an okay Egyptian sounding guitar solo in the middle. 'Behind My Camel' is not too great an effort, despite the fact I adore Andy Summer's guitar playing, I'm not sure what he was up to here really!!! 'Shadows In The Rain' and The Other Way of Stopping' are in much the same vein as 'Driven To Tears' as they have some interesting sounds but are otherwise not especially compelling. Zenyatta Mondatta is in many ways The Police's Beatles For Sale (they apparently finished it at 4am on the morning of their world tour), but nonetheless it's still an album full of quality as with the Beatles LP. Some of the songs are fairly simply made, without too many complex parts (unlike the next Police album after it). But I really enjoy the overall feel of the album, liking it as much as their more acclaimed Regatta De Blanc. There is plenty to enjoy! I count 8 hits and only 3 misses out of 11. If you can pick it up cheap on amazon it's well worth a listen to see what you think. There is some brilliant music making here, putting to shame modern day bands in all genres by being excellently recorded despite being a little rushed!!!!
4.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have !!!,
I BOUGHT THIS ALBUM ON CD A FEW YEARS AGO AFTER PREVIOUSLY OWING IT ON VINYL BACKI IN1980 WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG AND HAS BEEN WELL PLAYED SINCE 1980 SINCE I BOUGHT IT, I ALWAYS FOUND THIS ALBUM VERY PUNCHY AT TIMES BUT DON'T LIKE ALL THE TRACKS ON THIS CD, BUT NEVERLESS AS A 'DIE HARD' POLICE/STING FAN I HAD TO GET THE CD !!!!!!
4.0 out of 5 stars Zenyatta Mondatta,
I had this on cassette as a kid in the 1970s. This Re-Mastered CD is a revelation in sound. The bass and drums come alive and really make the songs stand out. Even the few cheesy songs are given a new life. What I find spectacular with this album is the inspiring duo of songs Driven to tears/When the world is running down you make the best of whats still around. These two tracks alone really make this album for me. The way they segue into one-another is awe inspiring. It also contains other classic songs such as Don't stand so close to me and Shadows in the rain.
This is a great album of inspired songs when The Police were at the top.
3.0 out of 5 stars Shadows in the Rain,
Possibly the least best of all of their excellent albums but still a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Coming after the first 2 classic albums this feels like something of a disappointing record and was really the beginning of the band becoming a more thoughtful concern and slowing down the tempo. But even the change of musical direction couldn't stunt the creativity and musical excellence that existed within.
Tracks like the well-known 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' and 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da' do their jobs memorably insomuch as they are still played on the radio across the world today. But some of the least known songs are also note-worthy. The frenetic 'Canary in a Coalmine' and the ironically jolly 'Bombs Away' are The Police doing what they do best: writing songs of protest and social criticism and the dark recesses of the human psyche to a catchy beat. They would come full circle a few years later with the unbeatable 'Every Breath You Take' but they were already masters of satire even by this stage.
The other tracks that work are 'Driven to Tears' and 'When the World is Running Down...' . 'Driven...' is a subtle song with a lacklustre feel but a killer tune that only becomes apparent after a few listens. 'When the world...' is cheerier and more purposeful but they are still both very different from any track from the first 2 albums.
'Voices inside my Head' and 'Behind My Camel' are almost instrumentals that serve no great purpose. There is nothing particularly wrong with them but compared to 'Regatta de Blanc' their inferior nature is brought to the surface. And the last 3 tracks are relatively hard to like too. The best of these is 'Man in a Suitcase' which is akin to 'Canary...' but not as catchy. 'Shadows in the Rain' is simply too long and too boring. Not much happens and it is too slow to be interesting. 'The Other Way of Stopping' is a full instrumental that relies on a single riff that is ok but not outstanding.
Half is great to world-beating. Half is pretty forgettable. This would continue with Ghost in the Machine but the songwriting seemed tighter there and the songs are slightly better (the first 3 being unbeatable).
If you are new to the band start with Regatta de Blanc. But once you start to like the band, even this will be hard to resist.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The band take control and produce the sound they wanted.,
By A Customer
Being the third album (of just five), Zenyatta Mondatta is The Police in control of their own sound, with some of the most tightly nit music so far in their very short career. Drummer Stewart Copeland (uncle of Friends Courtney Cox) makes the album his own with percussion on tracks such as When the World Is Running Down...and Voices Inside My Head. Of course as usual the main songs on the album belong to Sting with Don`t Stand So Close...Driven To Tears and the slightly boring De do do do de da da da. Elsewhere tracks such as Man In A Suitcase, Canary In A Coalmine and the Copeland penned Bombs Away, make this one of the best Police albums if not the most over looked, but with competition like the rest of their back catalogue it is hardly suprising!.... The Andy Summers track Behind My Camel (well song titles were not his strong point!) even won the band a Grammy!...And from a personal point of view it is by no means the best track on the album!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Third time lucky,
The third album marked a change for The Police. After 2 albums there was less motivation from all members to create world dominating music. As Sting says, he had to literally be dragged out of the house to tour at the time! Zenyatta Mondatta has material which is a far cry and progression from the early material. The band had developed a lot in 3 years and the result was not to everyone's tastes. Sting wrote most of the songs in Ireland in 1980, where he was living in a rented house, taking brisk walks in the Irish air. This obviously affected his song writing, especially as it wasn't too easy to be an Englishman living in Ireland at the time. The band had already had much success and I think the change in style was due. Many say that the reggae sound had completely gone by this album, but I don't think that's completely true. There's still small remains evident but it is much more of a progressive rock sound. Sting wrote nearly all the songs here and the only song with lyrics which wasn't written by him was written by Stewart. This was their 3rd album to be released year after year and the quality of the music remains, if not has been improved in terms of the non-singles. I think that the sound of the singles like De do do do, De da da da and Don't stand so close to me are not as good as Message in a bottle or Walking on the moon, but are still great songs. As far as the quality of the non singles go, it is definitely a step up from the last album. This album seems to be more constant than Regatta, and even though the singles aren't as enthralling to me, the overall sound of the album is much more to my liking.
Don't stand close to me, the opener, is a sound and noticeable progression and has a brilliant synthesizer sound in the bridge. The song is about a student having a crush on the teacher and the teacher finding it very hard to resist. Something which I'm sure Sting knew he would be pointed out for because of his past, and a concept which surely inspired from his past work. It's a classic Police and 80's song. Driven to tears talks about third world countries and conveys how Sting was getting more political and including world issues in his song writing. Has fantastic guitar work from Andy and lyrics which make you think. This was written in the 80's but the issues still affect us all as much today. When the world is running down you make the best of what's still around is one of the band's most famous non famous songs. It is about a crisis and based on Sting's fantasy of being the last person alive. It's about surviving a nuclear fallout and having the same old life. It has a great sound to it and shows the well needed quality spurt from Regatta's non-singles. Songs like this are not just fillers. Canary in a coalmine had me captivated from the 1st time I listened to it. The sound is so catchy and although repetitive and short, it sounds so great. Short and sweet! Another great non-single. Voices inside my head is 1 of 3 instrumentals on the album. This tells us that the band did not have so many ideas and were lacking in material for the album. It doesn't seem to make no difference though because they're still good tunes. This one being the best of the instrumentals. Very repetitive but really brings in the newer sound. Bombs away, which in my opinion has to be the most catchy and maybe best of Stewart's songs follows. It has a great sound and Andy does a thrilling job on the guitar too. This song is about political issues with elements of war in Bombay. It has Stewart's sort of lyrics but has a sweet sound, which is unlike his other songs. De do do do is a song which I am aware irritates people. It was released 9 years before I was born but apparently had a lot of airplay. It denotes issues of politicians and is an idea of people tricking us with their words and not making sense. It's better to just listen to it! As Sting says, it's an articulate song about being inarticulate! Behind my camel has a hilarious story behind it where Sting buried the tape because he hated the song so much, so Andy had to do bass! I think it's great.
Man in a suitcase is an autobiographical song by Sting. It has a nice rhythmic feel and a good constant sound. A nice break away from Deathwish. Shadows In the rain has probably the most addictive bass line I have ever heard. Most of the song is just drum and bass, with a tiny bit of guitar work. There's also a repetitive piano rhythm. Sting covered this song on his debut album, but this version is twice as good. The other way of stopping is the final song and third instrumental. It's got a sort of futuristic sound but is enjoyable. Even though there are no lyrics I would definitely prefer this to 1 of the fillers from the last album.
This album is a well needed change from the last and even though the ideas were clearly running low and there seemed to be less motivation, the band have done well with this album. The overall material may not be as strong as the other albums (less actual songs) but this is probably the most fun to listen to of all the albums.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a spectacular album, buy for side one....,
By A Customer
The 3rd (alledgedly) rushed studio album by the Police has its moments but ultimately is not their best effort, although the hit 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' is one of their best. The other hit single was the slightly silly 'De Do Do Do De Da Da Da'.
'Don't Stand So Close To Me' opens and the record. Side one of the original vinyl is generally excellent, 'Driven to Tears', 'When the World Is Running Down...', 'Canary In A Coalmine', 'Voices Inside My Head' and Copeland's 'Bombs Away' are all of high quality.
The second side is where I subtract the stars. Apart from 'De Do Do Do...' this half of the album is made up of largely throwaway instrumental pieces. Summers' only contribution is 'Behind My Camel' which although won a grammy is the worst of the 11 tracks along with 'The Other Way of Stopping'. 'Shadows In The Rain' starts off well and then drags at the end.
The other drawback to this album is the relatively short playing time (only 38 mins). Its certainly nowhere near as good as its predecessor 'Reggatta De Blanc', but a must for Police fans, if only for side one.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars zenyatta mondatta the police,
I first bought this album on tape in the 80s. I loved it then and it's just as brilliant now. The Police have written so many monumental songs.This is pure musical genius. This is 10/ 10 !
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Time for an arrest,
This was the most eagerly awaited album of 1980 and its lead single predictably brushed everything aside on its way to number one. Almost inevitably, however, it was a big let-down. The first two albums were made when The Police were still struggling to make it. Because the success of their debut was delayed, 'Regatta De Blanc' was already in place by the time they were breaking through. 'Zenyatta Mondatta', in contrast, is the product of a band who have satiated their hunger. It sounds similar to 'Regatta', but the only track that matches up is 'When The World Is Running Down'. 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' promises much, but the chorus is an anti-climax. The tracks 'Man In A Suitcase' and 'De Do Do Do' are perhaps the most symptomatic of what went wrong. They lack any of the tension that gripped their previous efforts. Worse still, three or four of the tracks sound like works in progress, instrumentals and songs in which the lyrics are so spare that the vocals are pushed well back in the mix. The first side of the album varies from passable to excellent, but most of the second half is pretty lame. After all that adulation, they could afford to be smug and it shows.
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