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Shangri-La Hybrid SACD

4.4 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Sept. 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD
  • Label: Virgin EMI
  • ASIN: B0002V4SXC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,207 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Signed copies or the album and packs of Shangri-La playing cards will be randomly assigned to 10 pre-orders for this title. One lucky customer will also receive a signed Mark Knopfler guitar.
The fourth solo excursion from acclaimed singer-songwriter-guitarist Mark Knopfler, Shangri-La is perhaps his most accomplished album since his halcyon days in Dire Straits. A four-time Grammy winner who has sold some 110 million albums worldwide with that group and solo — and whose signature guitar sound, instantly recognisable vocals and smart lyrics have made him one of rock's most admired artists — Knopfler offers an idyllic earthly refuge for the sophisticated rock fan with Shangri-La.
Guitar Information:Mark's Strat guitar features a '57 Strat guitar ash body and a vintage tinted '62 "C"-shape maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. His unmistakable tone comes from three Texas Special single-coil pickups and a five-way switch. Fender/Gotoh vintage tuners and an American vintage tremolo system round out this sultan of swing.

Amazon.co.uk

Shangri-La sees the sweatband-loving Knopfler team up once again with producer Chuck Ainlay for asturdy celebration of Americana through country andthe blues with a dash of easy listening thrown in. The overall sound is laid back with only the electric blues of "Song for Sonny Listen" providing a bit of a crunch. For the most part Knopfler sounds heavily influenced by troubadour JJ Cale and none more so than on "Boom, Like That", a groove driven country honk with soft, lazy vocals. Renowned for not taking things too seriously, many of the lyrics are comical in their narrative such as "I stuck a couple of air-craft carriers up his ass" on the mariachi backed "Don't Crash the Ambulance", a tongue in cheek song set around the Mexican border.

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Like another reviewer on here, I only bought this album because of stumbling on the classic Knopfler guitar signature on "Boom, Like That" when radio channel surfing. The album in its entirity does not dissapoint. On first listen, the sound and feel of the album did not become immediately clear, but, on second listen I suddenly realised that it is unlikely I will hear a better album in 2005.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
Whether or not you will like Knopfler's latest album, really depends on what you expect from him. If you want more Dire Straits, more pop rock and more ten minute solos, Mark's solo albums, since Golden Heart, have probably disappointed you.
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.
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Format: Audio CD
If you simply hear snippets of the album then you may wonder what I'm talking about and might think twice about buying but you really should have faith. This is not the same kind of music he was making in the early days of the Straits, it is in many ways a mix of On Every Street's more poignant songs (the title track especially) and his last two solo albums. It is stunning, from the heartfelt and touching 5.15am (one of my all time favourites and a must hear for people who like Sailing to Philadelphia) to the quirky final track with its hidden meanings everyone will find something to relate to.
From a musical point of view the playing is beyond reproach and the production be it CD or SACD is superb. Mark's guitar playing is what has always got the plaudits and the magazines writing but it is the lyrics which stand out to fans and this album only serves to strengthen this adding to his catalogue of sharp, witty story telling.
If your have grown up with Mark's music and have developed your taste as he has experimented and grown musically then you will love this album. Don't expect a Brother's in Arms 2 or Money for Nothing all over again this is an album from an artist who is confident and able to change musical styles in a way most artists would never even be able to think of doing. If you are an MK fan then this is a must buy, if you liked Sailing to Philadelpia and are looking to get more into his music or simply want to buy your first album by one of the most talented and respected artists of our time then this is a great place to start.
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Format: Audio CD
I used to be a huge Dire Straits fan, right up until the end, although the synth-fuelled casino-extravaganza of "On The Night" left me wishing for a more stripped down sound. When Mark Knopfler put out his first solo album, I was the first in line at the store, but I didn't like it that much. Sounded a bit "in between things", like he was trying to get Dire Straits out of his system and find a real solo voice. "Sailing to Philadelphia" was a bit irritating, but I started liking "The Ragpickers' Deam" more.
On "Shangri-La", I think Mark has really found the voice that he needed. The storytelling and lyrics are as subtle and quiet as usual, making you actually listen to what is being played. None of the melodies feel forced, and Mark and the band clearly play so well together by now. It's definitely a quiet and mellow album, but I think that's a welcome change from some of Mark's recent more country-rock tracks. Every song is meditative in its own way...perhaps it's just me, but it makes me feel all relaxed and cozy to listen to this stuff. His guitar work is increasingly minimalist, and his voice is smoother than ever. Happy music, but not bouncy. Perfect for a contemplative evening with a cup of coffee.
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