Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. True, Knopfler's basic approach remains the same - as a guitarist, he is still enamored of the minor-key finger-picking style of J.J. Cale, and as a singer/songwriter, he remains enthralled with Bob Dylan. But in one song after another on this album, you get the feeling that he started out playing some familiar song in a specific genre and eventually extrapolated upon it enough to call it an original.
  2. With Sailing to Philadelphia, Knopfler has taken a break from the rootsy side projects and soundtrack work that have occupied him for the last seventeen years, and has evoked some of the grandeur of prime Dire Straits.
  3. Sailing To Philadelphia often sounds outright anachronistic, from the "Sultans Of Swing"-like "What It Is" to James Taylor's voice on the title track, yet it never comes across like another old English coot courting Baby Boomer record buyers. Knopfler's ability to keep his talents in check serves the music, which benefits from the simple structures and tiny (but significant) guitar flourishes.
  4. 60
    Sailing to Philadelphia, the singer's guest-star-heavy sophomore outing, is a deliberate, grown-up record (in a season which has seen a pronounced lack of adult offerings) that feels -- heavily in places -- like Dire Straits: Five Years Later.
  5. With Sailing to Philadelphia, however, Knopfler fully reclaims his near-unique position as an instrumentalist of purpose -- one whose every note seems to have a reason for being. That reason, of course, is in service of his beautifully written and masterfully arranged songs.
  6. Sailing to Philadelphia represents yet another high watermark in his impressive recording career.... If there's anything to quibble about here, it's that the CD's energy sags because it contains so many ballads and mood pieces.
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. Feb 19, 2014
    9
    Maybe the best Mark's solo album (with Get Lucky and Golden Heart). Magnificent guitar, beautiful songs. Mark's the best combining different music styles, and this is the demonstration. In my opinion the best songs are What It Is, Sailing To Philadelphia, Silvertown Blues and Speedway At Nazareth (!). Full Review »