Sailing to Philadelphia Image
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 39 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full solo album from the Dire Straits frontman features guest appearances from James Taylor and Van Morrison.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  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. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. ZiishanA
    Nov 8, 2001
    10
    Well, this album perhaps the best released solo work of Mark Knopfler. It actually is very attractive inovation, when you see Mark's old celtic roots combining with his favourite country and bluegrass. In the end this album is just what the doctor ordered atleast when there is non-sense music capturing the mainstream. Expand
  2. BeaL
    Mar 28, 2006
    10
    Great tunes on the whole cd
  3. FilipSecret
    Aug 2, 2002
    10
    This is GOOD music! I listen to it all the time.
  4. Taural
    Feb 24, 2005
    10
    Fantasic mix of tracks appealing to most tastes, with the sweet, soulful voice of James Taylor backing up the title track! A great CD to just relax to! Expand
  5. DamoM
    Dec 5, 2005
    10
    This ahd got to be Knopfler's best solo piece of work. All amateurs step aside, as a master shows how it's done!
  6. 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 (!). Expand
  7. toastchum
    Aug 16, 2002
    7
    Some of the songs are awkward vocally but otherwise outstanding. For instance....The title track: "the Masooooonnnnn..." "Dixonline" Just sounds goofy to me. Collapse

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