Mark Knopfler

The eighth studio album of Mark Knopfler—not including soundtracks— has divided critics between those who consider it a “great album" and those who classify it merely as a “good disc.” Not a bad start, of course. The common denominator is that it contains the perfect music for an intimate evening in your favorite beer pub. Even for a long swig of whisky. Exquisite musical moments for relaxation and contemplation or for smooth conversation, the reason why Dire Straits probably hasn’t been revived, probably too 'noisy' for songs that in some cases border on a whisper y and the instruments gloomily paints an atmosphere that seems to fade away.

It is more a record of a songwriter akin to those who travel along dusty roads “made in USA” as J.J. Cale, out of that guitar hero in the 80s satisfy stages. Languid fingers slide along the guitar and form an acoustic tapestry by the six strings and a rhythmic base determined not to stand out.

It's actually a misleading sense because Tracker is long enough and dense enough to contain much more. Broken Bones, for example, recovers the old days of the Straits and perhaps it is one of the few in which the guitarist shines, playing with sound effects, marking the hypnotic rhythm of the melody. Simple, but at the same time, enormously complex.

Also there are the usual Celtic reminiscences Knopfler was so fond of, perhaps the most predictable part of the disk—along with the sax—an
essential tool in music that serves to reminds the memory of the general public. The rest is the house brand, jumping from jazz to country and to folk, a review of their known tastes when composing and write songs that probably don’t stand out too much in their repertoire, created almost more for himself than for the casual clients.

Be it a great disc or merely a simply a good disc is not the important point. With Tracker not intended to change the story with other sultans but, but during the hour or so it lasts during its 11 tracks, it gives a beautiful touch to the soundtrack of our stressed lives.