Total Guitar - - ALBUMS -


Nine al­bums into his post-dire Straits solo ca­reer, Knopfler con­tin­ues with the blend of in­ti­macy and melan­choly that’s be­come his call­ing card. The in­tensely weighty Celtic melodies of Drovers’road are en­er­gised by Mark’s in­stantly iden­ti­fi­able over­driven fin­ger­style lead work. The gain’s rolled back a touch on No­body’schild and My­ba­con­roll but the leads are still un­mis­tak­able Knopfler. Oc­ca­sion­ally, there’s a sense that Mark may be re­tread­ing old ground. Back­on­thedance Floor and Match­stick­men both re­mind us of chord pro­gres­sions from 2015’s bril­liant Tracker. And we’re just not sure about the smoky jazz club vibe in Wheny­ouleave and Slowlearner. A de­lib­er­ate choice to branch out? Prob­a­bly, and of course Mark’s abil­i­ties as a song­writer and sto­ry­teller re­main un­ques­tioned. We’d just pre­fer to hear more of that time­less melodic lead play­ing that’s been his trade­mark for so long.

Chris Bird

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