Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kill to Get Crimson

A week after I heard about the man’s new album, it was playing in my CD player and it has been there ever since, replacing the mesmerizing Canon in D major by Pachelbel. I’m referring to Mark Knopfler’s 5th solo album which is called ‘Kill to Get Crimson’. Just when I thought I’m ready and willing to write about it, I found this beautiful review from Rolling Stone and I had second thoughts. The magazine's review deserved a space here and so, I’m presenting it to you. It’s written by Anthony DeCurtis.

Along with occassional soundtracks and All the Roadrunning, his winning 2006 collaboration with Emmylou Harris, Kill to Get Crimson is Mark Knopfler's fifth solo album, and it's a gem. Since the 1995 breakup of Dire Straits, Knopfler has dedicated himself to making music that blends the deep resonance of traditional folk with the off-kilter edginess he brought to his former group's most trenchant songs. Knopfler is best at deftly drawn character studies -- the failed actor in "The Fizzy and the Still," the aging painter in "Let It All Go" whose passion for color gives the album its title. A recovering guitar god, Knopfler plays superbly -- check out his haunting solo on "The Scaffolder's Wife" -- but always with instinctive restraint. He's an ensemble player, nestling in among the likes of accordionist Ian Lowthian and fiddler John McCusker to summon sonic images that subtly reinforce the moods of his songs. Kill to Get Crimson, then, is at once egoless and supremely accomplished a testament to the rare talent that enables a master to say something simply and beautifully, and leave it exactly at that.

I just couldn’t help adding my bit.

The album begins with a very happy and sing-along, ‘True Love will Never Fade’ and ends with the melodious and melancholic ‘In the Sky’. I wonder why Mr DeCurtis missed out on appreciating Chris White’s haunting saxophone shadowing Mr Knopfler’s, almost wailing voice in this final track.

Thats how the album cover looks like. Its a 1958 painting by John Bratby called 'Four Lambrettas and Three Portraits of Janet Churchman'.

ps: I came up with this post despite being tagged to write something else...my apologies, Phish! It will happen one of these days.

12 comments:

Bhaskar Khaund said...

sounds good ,Shoms -must check it out...nice title...i imagine the music must be quite a bit like his nottinghillbilly-stuff if i spelt it right ..talking of which the mag is Rolling Stone , as in singular - a few of those wud make it the band :-)

meraj said...

my apologies for that error, Bublu. mustve been the love for the plural stone.

thanks for pointing it out.

cheers!

Smiling Dolphin said...

Ah, a Knopfler fan too. This is getting better and better:-)

meraj said...

and even he is getting better and better with his age. cheers!

Bhaskar Khaund said...

that reminds me - i still haven't brought myself to hear Modern Times ; post Desire , i can actually name the Dylan tracks i can listen to (Jokerman / Sweetheart Like You / Everything's broken / Most of the time / Shooting Star / Where teardrops fall / Political World/Long Black Coat )- Wow , 8 songs out of , i dunno , must be 8-10 albums ?? How bad is that ! Middle Age closed door crisis ! Whats the sound of Crimson like , Shoms ? i.e. resembles , for e.g. , ...??

Bhaskar Khaund said...

think u can post a clip on Facebook ?

meraj said...

man, just pick up the album without being so fussy and facebook is such a pain (my turn to act fussy).

i quite liked the album 'time out of mind'. but yeah, i completely agree on the receding quality of zimmyboy. 'modern times' has some good stuff, thought nothing compared to his earlier stuff. Crimson, on the other hand is quality.

cheers!
m

Naked said...

m - dig the album cover; might end up gng for the artwork before the album itself! esp since am a two wheeler once again! I want to ride my bicycle...

Naked said...

Bhaskar - "Most of the time" been popping up on High Fidelity soundtrack, magical. And those eight songs you say, they're the 8 wonders.

meraj said...

yeah Gaurav...the album cover is absolutely trippy.

Bhaskar, Time out of Mind is a great album (for me). the track 'Highlands' is one of his finest. Check it out maybe.

cheers!

ilegirl said...

Fabulous album! On first hearing, it was sweet; thereafter, I found myself listening almost obsessively. There is something impressively subtle in the music, and I agree the artist grows better with time.

btw, I am enjoying your other posts. Your site popped up in a Google result while I was searching (fruitlessly, unfortunately) for a shop where I might purchase the cover art print.

meraj said...

ilegirl,
am glad you are enjoying my posts. even i tried hunting for the the cover art, fruitlessly of course!