Kill To Get Crimson

Mark Knopfler

Universal/Mercury, 2007

REVIEW BY: Mark Kadzielawa


Each time Mark Knopfler releases a solo album, there's always that anticipation as to what direction the album will take. However, since it always ends up being good music regardless of direction, there's really no need to worry.

Kill To Get Crimson is a very gentle album, one that comes out at the perfect time, as the leaves begin to change and the autumn feeling is heavy in the air. It's one of those records were few songs stand out, but taken as a whole it's a quiet masterpiece.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Knopfler's guitar playing is always great, and the beauty is that he doesn't overplay. Each note has a purpose, which really gets the point of the song across. Mark has a great feel for each track and puts as much feeling into the music as the words -- and as such, both have equal amounts of depth. As one of the few guitarists that is truly lyrical -- something people tend to overlook -- this makes the record worth hearing, even though the emphasis is more on mood than on song.

The words are as good as always, a Dire Straits and Knopfler hallmark since the early days. Opener "True Love Will Never Fade" speaks for itself, a touching song meant for a sensitive listener. "Secondary Waltz" is a song about young boys being taught how to dance by a teacher and Army veteran.  Are we old enough to remember such teachers?

It should be noted that very little here resembles Dire Straits and instead bears a strong folk influence, likely because of Knopfler's collaboration with Emmylou Harris in 2006. Like many of his past works, the music is a blend of rock, country and folk that emulates neither but still recalls past sounds, sounding familiar and gentle but not derivative. 

There is an excellent recollection of things lost in "Heart Full of Holes"  and even a song for the ladies, "Scaffolder's Wife," featuring the line "Losing her looks over company books." Could this be more authentic for today's world? The more you listen to these songs, the more you’ll be surprised how many of these songs are actually about you.

Kill To Get Crimson will fill the emptiness of many long fall evenings, and you'll find yourself singing along to it eventually. It's interesting to note the picture of Knopfler in the CD booklet, holding his guitar, the look on his face saying "I did well." He certainly did.  

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2007 Mark Kadzielawa and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Universal/Mercury, and is used for informational purposes only.