Mark Knopfler - Privateering

Mark Knopfler’s latest continues the laid-back roots approach that has typified his post-Dire Straits output. Those still hoping for a return to the extended format classic rock of his previous band should look away now: Privateering is a world removed from the likes of ‘Telegraph Road’ or 'Tunnel of Love'. And it rarely picks up the pace in ‘Sultans of Swing’ style. No, this is an album crafted with care and love but clearly, name collaborators aside, made with no-one in mind bar its writer. A solid fan base after all these years suggests that will do just fine, thank you very much.

The arrangements are spare and under-played, largely built on strummed guitars, brushed percussion and Knopfler’s sandpaper vocals. It’s an album of reflection and quiet insight. It’s no thrill ride but, much in common with his output for nigh on two decades, it carries itself with a mature ease. It’s best when it adds, as on the soaring ‘Kingdom of Gold’, a stirring Celtic influence to the mix. In truth, it could do with a trim and a tad more variation to properly engage. For fans, only? No doubt, and a two disc standard release offers 90 minutes of unquestionable value.



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