2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Police's Beatles For Sale= an excellent album,
This review is from: Zenyatta Mondatta (Audio CD)
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!!!!