REVIEW: Mark Knopfler – Tracker


On markknopfler-trackerthe final Dire Straits’ studio album On Every Street, Mark Knopfler told us he was a hungry man (on the song “You and Your Friend”). I’m hungry as well, almost ravenous, having tried to find some meat on the bones from any of Knopfler’s past three albums.

On Get Lucky, released in 2009, Privateering (2012) and the recently released Tracker, Knopfler has devolved into a dealer in sleeping pills, the Perry Como of his generation. I really love the guy and of course wish he would reunite the old Dire Straits Band and the old Dire Straits sound but that’s not likely to occur. Mark has mercifully passed through his country phase and is dissolving more and more into his dark Celtec and Irish ballad era. I get it; Knopfler was born in Scotland and grew up in Northern England, and he’s headed back to his roots. I’m not sure Kunta Kinte could sing, but had he, it would have been more enjoyable than this.

Since the ending of Dire Straits, Knopfler has put out nine solo albums. I have pulled some pretty decent tunes from a few in this collection — “Who’s Your Baby Now” and “El Macho” from Sailing to Philadelphia; “Why Aye Men” and “Coyote” from The Ragpicker’s Dream; and “I Dug Up a Diamond” from the album he did with Emmylou Harris (All the Roadrunning). In those pieces he gave us haunting layered melodies, the inimitable elegant guitar licks, his distinctive finger style sound – it is all so intoxicating.

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But that was then and this is now. Tracker? They say you can only navigate from where you are and not from where you hoped you would be. As opposed to intoxicating, I find Knopfler’s latest endeavors utterly sobering. Just 2 out of 5 nuts.

Let’s see where he takes us from here…

6 comments to “REVIEW: Mark Knopfler – Tracker”
  1. I love everything Knopfler has ever done, including this. I’m going to come to your house and kill you!

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