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on October 28, 2002
When rock critics discuss the greatest bands of all time, the Police are rarely, if ever, mentioned. Why is that? Before Sting became a boring VH-1 staple, his onetime punk outfit rose to critical and commerical heights through its winning fusion of rock, reggae, and jazz. Sting effortlessly pulled off what few blue-eyed British guys can do: perform smooth guitar-laced pop with its roots firmly planted in soul. The group's third and best album, "Zenyatta Mondatta" shows Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland at its artistic zenith. The instrumentation of "Driven to Tears" is brilliant as the band playfully swings between edgy rock and reggae. There's the memorable hooks of "When the World is Running Down..." and "De Doo Doo Doo." And we're also treated to the sizzling reggae lilt of "Shadows in the Rain" and the soulful swing of "Voices in My Head." There's not a single dud on this release; it was one of my most-played albums in my preteen years, and very little of it sounds dated. A true classic by any standard.
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on May 8, 2001
Often times I've heard that this record doesn't quite measure up to the other Police albums. I would dispute that assertion in a heartbeat. More often than not the Police deliver solid and uptempo pop music on 'Zenyatta Mondata' (What does that mean?). The overall sound quality is a definite step up from the first two records. The drums sound as tight and crisp as drums ever have, and Andy Summer's jazzy guitar licks are clear and innovative. The record starts off with a hot "Don't Stand So Close to Me," and continues with several other gems, such as "Man in a Suitcase," "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da," "Driven to Tears," and an instrumental called "Behind My Camel." There are a couple of rough spots, namely a silly "Bombs Away." 95% of the record, however, is right on target. I wouldn't rank this as the best ever Police album recorded, but I also wouldn't claim it to be the worst, either. I would recommend this record for new Police fans.
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on February 19, 2006
This is by far their best album and this very well remastered version makes this the best sounding version as well. This album and especially the track "Don't Stand So Close To Me" was the one that introduced me to the Police and just blew me away! I was just so fortunate to be a teenager at the time of the New Wave movement that was sweeping the world from Britain at the time and The Police was just one of the many great bands that were riding the crest of that Wave. Having also heard all their albums since, this one stands out head and shoulders over the rest. Firstly, it's the one coherent album in which every track flows very well and there are really no weak tracks here. Sting's brilliant lyric-writing skills also find a peak here on this album. From the first track about teacher-student romance where Sting makes references to "Lolita" in the brilliant lyric "just like the old man in that book by Nabokov" to the second track about politics and apathy keeping people poor in 3rd World nations: "too many cameras and not enough food"; brilliant, intelligent lyrics that were unheard of before then in pop/rock music. Andy Summers also does his best work here, even winning the Grammy award that year for the Best Instrumental Performance with "Behind My Camel" but check out the great work he does on "Canary in a Coalmine" and on "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" as well. This album represents The Police at their creative best and this version which is excellently remastered represents the best sound quality that you can currently get out there. Very highly recommended!
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on August 16, 2002
In an interview some years ago STING had said that this was The Police's last effort where they worked truly together as a band. It was after this album that things began to fall apart in their relationships. I am not a professional critic but I consider The Police to be among the most talented ever to have recorded. I consider Zenyatta Mendatta to be the peak of their recording and professional career.
There are elements of the band's past on this album such as the second and third tracks, Driven to Tears and When the World is Running Down. These songs carry the heavy reggae beat and the flavor of the first two Police albums. Yet there are other tracks like Don't Stand So Close To Me and De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da that bleed into their next work, Ghost In The Machine. I'm not sure where songs like Canary In A Coalmine fit overall but it has its place on this album as does Bombs Away which is a witty song in my opinion.
This record contains a wealth of songwriting and it holds its own against Outlandos de'Amour and Regatta de Blanc.
It is significant that STING still regularly performs When The World Is Running Down live. He re-recorded Shadows In The Rain on his first solo effort. Ofcourse Don't Stand So Close was reworked as the goups swan-song. Zenyatta Mendatta has tremendous value in its contents. It may not have been as commercially successful as Synchronicity or have contained anything as solid as the benchmark three singles that define the peak of The Police's potential, but it overshadows Ghost on any playing field.
I believe this album is the transition between the Roxanne and Message In A Bottle years and the Every Little Thing and Every Breath You Take years. The Police did what few bands could ever do and changed their sound almost completely between their first and last albums. The same band that left us Roxanne left us Every Breath You Take and Wrapped Around Your Finger just a few short years later. Zenyatta Mendatta is where the pivot in The Police's career is fixed. This album shows what was and what will be, and I believe it stands as the bands most listenable album from start to finish. I rank it as their best album.
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on August 7, 2013
Zenyatta Mondatta was the album that made the Police in the U.S.A. It has something for every fan. Great Singles(Don't Stand So Close to Me, De Doo Doo Doo,De Da Da Da) Album Tracks(Driven To Tears, Bombs Away, Shadows In The Rain) And Instrumentals (Behind My Camel, The Other way of Stopping). All N All a great album for fans of Rock and good music in general.
The Band only Issue 2 more studio albums after this Yet in my Opinion all their albums are worth checking out. If your interested in the Police this is the place to start.
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on September 13, 2013
If you ask me, all five Police studio albums are the Police at their best, but ZM feels like the band hit a high of confidence and ability as musicians and Sting as a songwriter. The best tracks are the non-singles: "Driven To Tears", "When The World Is Running Down", "Canary In A Coal Mine", "Voices Inside My Head" and "Shadows In The Rain" are all standouts of a band that was in the middle of burning down the horrid pop music of the late 70's in order to blaze a path of more creative and thoughtful genre-blending pop.
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on February 16, 2001
Critics have called Zenyatta Mondatta the worst of the Police albums. From things the band members themselves have said about the time surrounding the recording of Zenyatta Mondatta, they were tired and pressed -- both by the record company for a hit record and their touring schedule. This being the case, this album is even greater than it seems. If this is the worst the Police got, I'll take the Police over countless other bands anyday.
There are some delicious tunes here. Don't Stand So Close To Me, a song about how nervous a man can get when a young girl turns on the charm, is in many ways the best song the Police ever recorded. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da is a fun and smart song about the corrupting power of words. Also fun and smart are Man in a Suitcase, Canary in a Coalmine and When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around. More serious is the driving Driven to Tears, a song about the pain one suffers by witnessing the suffering of others: a song of empathy. Voices Inside My Head's got a mesmerizing momentum. Shadows In the Rain is gorgeously haunting (and a personal favorite).
Zenyatta Mondatta has personal significance to me: It was the first Police album I bought. I was fifteen at the time and, I suppose, I haven't gotten over it. Maybe I'm getting old, but I think fifteen year olds today would be lucky if they had a band like the Police to listen to.
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on January 20, 2014
Synchronicity and Regatta de Blanc might get more air time, but I think this may have been the Police at their creative peak. There's not a bad cut on this, and what's more, there's an instrumental cut!!! Who had the kahuna's to do that in the early 80s? Well worth the time to go back and give a listen. You might find yourself listening to it over and over again.
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on May 24, 2014
This album is a good one for any Police fan. As I have heard, it was put together in a hurry by The Police, but it sure turned out to be a jewel. (in my opinion.) It includes songs like "Don't Stand So Close To Me", "Driven To Tears", "When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What's Still Around", "Canary In A Coalmine", and others. Good stuff to expand minds, but so is all of The Police's music. Enjoy!
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on April 26, 2015
As re-masters go, this one was done quite well. This has always been one of my favourite Police albums and as I say often here, I got it to give my LP a rest. This album really showcases their combined talents at their best, in my opinion. It was before Sting's ego went out of control and the album has a great flow to it. The one thing I did not like is how it is packaged. It does not come in a traditional CD jewel case, but one of those cardboard sort of affairs with the plastic CD holder glued to the back. Getting the CD out of the holder was challenging. Otherwise, a great addition to my collection.
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