Mark Knopfler – Privateering
Being a musician is easy. Or at least that’s the way Mark Knopfler makes it sound. His seventh solo outing, Privateering, proves that Knopfler is a dependable source of brilliant music – but then again, that’s something you’d expect to attribute to an artist with such a wealth of experience.
Privateering is impressively diverse but united by a strain of affective emotion that thrives in its sheer humanity. From the opening inspired gallop of Redbud Tree to the sweep of Seattle, Knopfler sews pianos and strings together with not only a pristine design, but with an other worldly conflict of fragility and dominance within his vocals. Hazy Americana forms the backbone of Privateering, and if you’re looking for examples, Delta-style blues track Don’t Forget Your Head explains things perfectly. With the lyrics based resolutely in the real world and bottleneck guitar slides providing barely-woken wooziness, there’s no doubt that Knopfler is truly comfortable with what he is producing.
Maudlin campfire song Miss You Blues shows the depth of Knopfler’s prolific lyrical talent, and ripples along like a delicate, all-enveloping dream. It’s an outpouring of technical brilliance that yields to a blissful breakdown. It’s dense with an atmosphere of soft, swirling melodies curling around plaintive vocals.
If there’s one criticism to be levelled at the record, it’s on the track Go Love which proves to be devoid of direction, but this is only one small disappointment on an album of outstanding technicality.
Closing track After The Beanstalk sees Knopfler turn into a whimsical storyteller. The song weaves its way around an intricate melody, but does so in the humblest of fashions. It’s a rustic, heart-swelling ballad with slinking banjo lines adorning it. Privateering is as good an album as we dared dream it would be.
Stand-out Track: Don’t Forget Your Head
Privateering is out now. For further information or to order the album click here.