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.
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.
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.
SusanB.Feb 8, 2002I have always liked Mark Knopfler, Dire Straits, etc. The ballads are a nice change from some of the other "junk" that we hear these days. This comes from an old Eagles, Steve Miller, Stones, Beatles fan who has the money to buy many CD's, but is very picky about what she listens to.… Expand
BradK.Oct 19, 2001This is a super album. Knopfler is a great storyteller -- always has been. If you read his lyrics, they read like poetry. This album is no exception -- stories, great licks and growley vocals. What more could you want?… Collapse
BeaLMar 28, 2006Great tunes on the whole cd
DominicP.Aug 22, 2002Mark Knopfler is a genious, putting out yet another amazing album. The use of his Celtic stylings are absolutely masterful.
DamoMDec 5, 2005This ahd got to be Knopfler's best solo piece of work. All amateurs step aside, as a master shows how it's done!
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