Mark Knopfler – Tracker

7.0 Verve
2015 

Mark Knopfler : TrackerMark Knopfler could be considered the classy classic rock, or the musical feeling of the 1970s working class. Previous work in Dire Straits was obviously highly renowned and well known, and to some degree the solo work has been too. Tracker, therefore, may automatically have fans, but a rehashing would probably be unwanted. It is good then that it does in some ways differ from previous solo material, mainly in the nature themes.

The first thing is that it is really well produced, clean, and ambient. Tracks “Silver Eagle’, “River Towns”, “Beryl”, and “Broken Bones” are all good, mostly soft, slow folk jams. Most of them are heavy on nature subjects from the lyrics to the ambience. What this means for anyone listening is solid and smooth rock.

If spirit is what matters in open ballads and political convention, Knopfler understands this well. Opening with a title like “Laughs and Jokes and Drinks and Smokes” clearly shows that. However, it is the nature theme that really sets this album apart. Lines such as in “Broken Bones”, “She likes a man with broken bones / Lucky for me, I suppose.” As well as, “It ain’t the life of Riley / But it’s keeping me afloat” in “River Towns”.

The market for this type of music is smaller than it would have been in his heyday. However, anyone still listening to Steely Dan or Robert Plant might still listen to this. If Mark Knopfler is known as a ‘70s guitarist and not a modern guitar legend, this album will not change that. He plays through some smooth licks though and the lyrics ever represent a tradition of the working class.

Mark Knopfler – Beryl

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