Dire Straits are, in my opinion, an acquired taste. I didn’t pay much attention to them until 4/5 years ago, and once I started noticing Mark Knopfler’s guitar riffs, characteristic voice and unique composition style, I never looked back.
I was fortunate enough to see Dire Straits Experience live a few years ago, with Terrence Reis taking the place of Mark in the vocals and guitars, and brilliantly doing so if I may add. He remains extremely faithful to the original sound, without losing his identity in the process. But we’re here to discuss the album, not the live experience. 🙂
It’s a flowy album, with the songs displayed in a way that makes sense and sounds even better. I love the quality and saturation of the sound, of course the vinyl does contribute to that; but this baby could have been released today and it will still hold up to the music industry standards; although I’m almost certain that the vocals would have to be a lot louder today for standards sake. It does have a “live” feeling to me, although it’s a studio album; so much that the live version of Portobello Belle sounds just like the studio recordings apart from the audience claps and noise. I absolutely love that.
Highlights: great classics such as Sultains Of Swing will make you feel like the coolest person in the world while listening to it; Walk Of Life will definitely get stuck on your head – and there’s nothing wrong with that since it’s my favorite – yohoo!; Money For Nothing is a true 80’s hymn, Sting backvocals included (I do recommend watching the videoclip if you want an extra 80’s nostalgia shot).
Let Downs: Portobello Belle and Tunnel Of Love, when compared to the rest of the album, are a bit below the rest and forgettable songs.
Private Investigations and Brothers In Arms got me thinking though. At first I thought “meh”, but somewhere in the middle, I caught myself appreciating the amazing lyrics, messages and subliminal instrumental touches. Definitely songs to listen again.