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Kill to Get Crimson

4.2 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 18, 2007
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Product Description

Building on last year's Grammyr-nominated All The Roadrunning collaboration with Emmylou Harris, his highest charting non Dire Straits album to date Top 20 Pop, scanning 400,000 copies in the U.S. acclaimed singer-songwriterguitarist Mark Knopfler unveils his fifth solo album, Kill To Get Crimson. While certain to appeal to his loyal fan base, the album's artful guitar rock will also entice new fans to Knopfler's signature sound (he's #27 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time), instantly recognizable vocals and smart lyrics. A multiple- Grammy winner who has sold more than 110 million albums worldwide, Knopfler remains one of rock's most admired artists.

Three decades after Dire Straits broke onto the scene with their remarkable debut, Mark Knopfler remains an iconic figure in popular music, his graceful guitar playing equaled only by his genial baritone and a novelist's ability to create distinct characters and themes in his songs. His fifth solo album since he pulled the plug on the band in 1995, Crimson reflects on a torrent of narratives, from the gracefully aging spouse in the flute-powered ballad "The Scaffolder's Wife" to the valiant down-and-outer in the Scottish folk song "Heart Full of Holes." Employing accordions, fiddles, and horns as majestic accompaniment, Knopfler drifts into the Celtic-tinged melodies of his past, explicitly in the whiskey-soaked singalong "Secondary Waltz," the busker's saga "Madame Geneva's," and "The Fish and the Bird," with its vagabond pensiveness. Clocking in at just under an hour, the album--without any page-turning epic--plays instead like an anthology of written works, every personification crisp in definition, every story exquisitely told. --Scott Holter
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: September 18, 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000TUXL2A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,002 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I enjoy some of MK's music a lot. When listening to his albums, I just get the feeling that his music has 'quality written all over it' - fine songwriting (especially the lyrics), immaculate guitar playing and superior production. Yet, despite this, I often find each album contains only 3 or 4 songs that I really enjoy, a couple which bore me to tears, and the rest are just OK (but to be fair, enjoyment of his music does benefit from several listenings). There will be some people for whom MK 'can do no wrong' and I also feel that way about a few artists - but MK is not (yet) one of these. So, I was a little cautious about buying this album, but I thought I'd take a chance because some of the pre-release editorial reviews suggested that I might like it. As it turns out, I was not too disappointed.

THE SONGS - MK's lyrics are always fascinating but he seems to have surpassed himself on this album - in many songs, capturing the quintessence of post-WW2 life for ordinary English people. Although, for the most part, the melodies are good (a few having a distinct Gaelic flavour), I wouldn't describe them as 'infectious'; and I thought 2 or 3 were, by comparison, rather bland. There are no up-tempo songs to speak of (a couple come close) and there are certainly no 'full-tilt rockers'. Few of the songs have that 'americana' influence to be found on previous albums (the 'Springsteen-esque' 'True Love Will Never Fade' being the main exception) - MK has moved eastwards across the Atlantic for much of his inspiration on 'Kill to Get Crimson'. It is the songs that define the mood of the album and I would describe this as 'nostalgic-reflective' (in a very English sort of way).
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Format: Audio CD
As a middle aged man, who also happens to be a guitar player, it was inevitable that I would be drawn to Mark Knopfler after hearing the first few bars of a song many, many years ago called Sultans of Swing.

At that time, of course, Mark was in a band that would later go on to become one of the biggest and most popular bands in the world - Dire Straits.

After the eventual breakup of the band, Mark pursued a solo career - and what a career it has been..!!

I've always said that Mark Knopfler may not be the BEST guitar player on the planet in terms of technical ability - I know there are lots of younger players out there who can tap out thousands of 64th notes in the span of 2 or 3 seconds with both hands.

But if there is a more tasteful player on the planet, frankly, I've yet to hear him.

Mark Knopfler is an incredible musician and songwriter, who just seems to get better and better with the passage of time. You listen to the songs on this album - as well as his other - and he's like an artist who can evoke the richest colors and the most beautiful hues with both his voice and his guitar.

I don't know of anybody who can create such intimate character studies and evoke the kind of emotions with his music as he can. And his ability to coax the perfect note or chord - and the PERFECT tone - at the most precise time in a song is, in my opinion, unparalleled amongst musicians/ songwriters.

Knopfler has been criticized for his relatively limited vocal range. Personally, I have never had a problem with his singing - his deep and comforting, baritone voice is like a fine 24 year old scotch going down for the first time.
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Format: Audio CD
Don't judge this record on the first listening. You have to savor it and let it fully steep. This album continues my pattern of experience for each new Knopfler record. Upon the first listening, I think, "I waited for this?" After a few repeated plays, I think "Hey, cool narratives." After about ten plays (yes, this has been spinning in my home and car CD players at least that many times) I think, "Knopfler is the best story teller in the business!"

There are many people churning out songs that are fully digested in one play through. Knopfler's song-craft is more like a great wine. It does not knock you over the head, but you know it stands out in subtle ways. It also has substance, so it will be valid for years to come.

There is some derivative music here, similar tone and tempo from previous Knopfler work... see if you can spot the clone of "Stand up guy" from Shangri-La. There is a dearth of guitar gymnastics, and indeed there is a simplification of sorts, relegating the guitar the second fiddle (pun intended) to the voice. None of this is bad, but a nice extended solo or a single up tempo track would have been welcome.

That said, this is the most "grown up" disc that I have bought this year, and one that will go into frequent rotation for my listening pleasure.
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Format: Audio CD
"Kill to Get Crimson" is another strong production from Mark Knopfler -- perhaps a bit slower and more meditative than his earlier solo albums, but recognizably Knopfler to the core. There is no single song here with the instantly infectuous nature of, say, "Postcards from Paraguay," but the new album is a compelling compilation of Knopfler compositions. There may be no dazzling intricate solo guitar interludes, but Knopfler's guitar work on this album is nonetheless crisply solid. As always, Mark Knopfler's lyrics are worth listening to again and again. And I agree with those other reviewers who emphasize that to really appreciate this album requires multiple listenings. I've been replaying it again and again since I bought it, and it seems each time through brings some new discovery.
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What To Expect from KTGC
Nice synopsis, Pendleton the 3rd.
Jul 23, 2010 by bluezimmy |  See all 3 posts
which Mark might we find on this one?
Whichever incarnation, I'm buying it. MK has my (almost) unconditional positive regard. Hope he tours soon after this release.
Aug 7, 2007 by jeweytoo |  See all 8 posts
Hard To Get Through
I agree totally, but the 50's strat. sound is great. After so many good reviews though, I'll give it another spin...Randy
Sep 23, 2007 by Randolph W. Rose |  See all 2 posts
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