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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Yourself Arrested by These Police.
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...
Published on October 28, 2002 by The Groove

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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Third album blues
What a strange album! Unmistakeably the Police, but you have gilt-edged singles such as "Dont Stand So Close To Me" and "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da", sitting next to conscience tweakers like "Driven To Tears", or post apocalyptic songs like "When the World Is Running Down" (still a Sting favourite). Sandwiched between these songs are...
Published on August 5, 1998


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Yourself Arrested by These Police., October 28, 2002
By 
This review is from: Zenyatta Mondatta (Audio CD)
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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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their Best Album Ever! Great Remastered Sound Too!, 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Sound, May 8, 2001
By 
Johnny (Leesburg, VA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Zenyatta Mondatta (Audio CD)
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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great CD, August 16, 2002
By 
CMM (Spokane, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Zenyatta Mondatta (Audio CD)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No boughta? You oughta., February 16, 2001
By 
This review is from: Zenyatta Mondatta (Audio CD)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a Memorable Album, August 14, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Zenyatta Mondatta (Audio CD)
I don't quite agree to critics who call this as the weakest Police album. Zenyatta Mondatta actually defined the distinctive Police formula, and the overall album sound (heavily delayed/chorused guitars, snappy drum sound, minimalist approach to execution) is memorable. Zenyatta Mondatta is a very coherent album, and it set the standards and foundations for the incredible Ghost In The Machine - released after Zenyatta.
Always quoted as an important reference for the history of rock drumming, Stewart Copeland sets an important mark through his approach to drumming and groove. Andy Summers also shines through his experimentalist approach to harmony (Behind My Camel, Driven to Tears). The only weakness of Zenyatta (perhaps) is the lack of solid songs (for strong compositions, I prefer Synchronicity or Reggatta de Blanc), with the exception of course of 'Don't Stand So Close To Me', one of Sting's best songs ever.
And after nearly 22 years, I still can't get rid of Zenyatta's voices inside my head.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Third album has Police stretching toward mainstream, March 13, 2004
With Zenyatta Mondatta, it's clear that the punk-influenced material has gone by the way side, with something more unique coming through, a style that would become honed to the ultimate in their Synchronicity album. This is a more pessimistic album compared to their first two albums, meaning their sociopolitical consciousness has expanded.
"Don't Stand So Close To Me" tells of a schoolteacher with a pupil who has an unhealthy obsession towards him, just like that man in that book by Nabokov, i.e. Humbert Humbert. The original has a more upbeat reggae-ish beat compared to the sombre elegiac 86 remix which came out on the Police's first compilation, Every Breath You Take-The Singles, As it turned out, I first heard the 86 version, THEN the original, so I prefer the remix. This was their third UK #1.
The socially pessimistic "Driven To Tears" is one of the songs where the Police's non-punk, non-reggae style comes through. There seems no hope when solutions that really work aren't there to help dying innocents, underlined by: "What's to become of our world, who knows what to do."
Given the title "When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What's Still Around," I wonder if there's anything still around. With the protagonist finding solace in his old VCR, the stereo that still plays compared to the static on his new radio, and watching "Deep Throat" over and over to compensate for loneliness, it's a pretty grim world.
"Canary In A Coalmine" is a kind of fast-paced reggae with a great rhythm guitar. The oversensitive obsession in making a perfect and secure environment is key here, given what canaries were used for in mines. The flaw is wryly described when "you get so dizzy even walking in a straight line." How can one enjoy life with such standards and insecurities?
"Voices In My Head" has a similar guitar rhythm used by Waddy Wachtel in Stevie Nicks' "Edge Of Seventeen," used here at a more paced tempo, with the title chanted in unison.
Military commentary on "Bombs Away" make a reference to Afghanistan, then in its fourth year of war. However, the thoughts of the bored general towards his officers, one of disdain, to one of a fantasy guerrilla girl, seems a characterization of the beautiful enemy.
"De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" ties in the dynamics between free illogic chaos versus structured logic, regarding one's mind, and what poets, priests and politicians try to do to get their message across. This was the other big single from this album.
"Behind My Camel" is an offbeat instrumental, with Andy Summer's droning guitar replicating some Middle Eastern desert theme. Drummer Stewart Copeland himself penned the instrumental "The Other Way Of Stopping," a showcase for Summer's guitar and Copeland's racing drums.
The travails of a traveling businessman is detailed in the quick reggae beat "Man With A Suitcase," who spends most of his time racing towards meeting his airplane connections and going into a hotel room, described as a prison cell in the same way an airplane is described as a flying cage.
And now, a song I first heard when Sting jazzed it up for his Dream Of The Blue Turtles album. Here, "Shadows In The Rain" is a more slow reggae tune.
Zenyatta Mondatta shows the Police reaching out more to the mainstream, a step that would near closer in Ghost In The Machine and come to fruition in their swansong, Synchronicity.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da!!! The Police's Best Album, August 23, 2007
This review is from: Zenyatta Mondatta (Audio CD)
After releasing 2 album in just 2 years and plenty of hit singles, Police released their third album during their 3 years as a band in 1980, titled "Zenyatta Mondatta". The album is a fulfilled promise where Police proves once and for all that they're no punk band, but more of a original New Wave Rock band inspired by Reggae and Jazz. Finally after 3 years they found what most people would call "their" sound, going from a great new wave band to a groundbreaking pioneer band. Most songs are upbeat but they're no fiery rockers and for the first time there are songs with a political meaning included. A good combination between the smart Pop song, the political satire and some instrumentals makes "Zenyatta Mondatta" Police best album. Let's take a look at the songs.

"Don't Stand So Close To Me" starts with a haunting opening, Sting describe this old teacher who got the "Lolita Complex" and got a crush on one of his student half his age. No matter what the song is about it's a brilliant pop song and it became a huge smash in 1980 and still to this day, it's a classic. "Driven to Tears" is the first of many Sting composed political songs. It got this great bassline and ironic lyrics about how we don't take any responsability to how some people are starving and living in extreme poverty. "How can you say that your not responsible?, What does it have to do with me?", I guess that's why we still have poverty?. Next song with the long title follows the previous one "When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best of what's still around". "Canary in a Coalmine" is one of the cathiest Police songs ever, it sound alot like Madness with it's upbeat and happy vibe. The song is about a person who's always worried and can't sit still and just enjoy the wonderful things that life has to offer. "Voices inside my Head" is more or less instrumental with great Sumner riffs, this guy was really a genius! Once again a haunting melody and Sting singing the song title while the melody plays on. The ironic "Bombs Away" takes the price, this song is an anti-war song but all in a happy upbeat atmosphere. Sting sings "Bombs away, but we're OK / Bombs away In old Bombay".

The best song is "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" another classic pop song. My guess is that it's also politic, mainly how politicians, media, religious leaders etc. try to control people with power and how tiresome it gets to hear their "beautiful words" that in reality means nothing. So, Sting just replies with the song title, basically yada yada yada. The next song is another beautiful instrumental, the arabesque "Behind My Camel", It's hard to understand that Police could record such great instrumentals. "Man in a Suitcase" is another great pop song, about a man that travels so much that his loved one's hardly recognize him and how he always put his work ahead of his family. That's how Sting felt after constant touring. "Shadows in the Rain" is weird, it's minimalistic song almost half instrumental. "The Other Way of Stopping" is also instrumental, and a good closer to a fantastic album.

Overall, the best Police album and the album where they truly became superstars. You got everything here, cool pop songs, political satires and wonderful instrumentals. Sting wasn't happy with the end result cause the album was recorded in a very short time but everyone else seems to agree that "Zenyatta Mondatta" is one of the greatest rock albums of all time. Classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Police at Their Peak, October 23, 2003
By 
Venus (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
As a child of the Reagan Era, I was and still am an unabashed fan of `80s alternative music (a/k/a "new wave"). Though some new wave now sounds dated, especially bands like a Flock of Seagulls that relied heavily (excessively?) on synthesizers, much of the music that arose out of the new wave/post punk movement sounds just as fresh, innovative, and essential today as when it was first released. This is especially true of the Police-the powerhouse trio consisting of Sting, Stewart Copeland, and Andy Summers-whose "white reggae" musical style still provides a wholly unique and enlivening musical experience.
The Police only released five albums before the band's exhilarating but volatile synergy finally exploded in the mid-`80s, sending each of the members off in their own direction. Each of those albums is a classic, though. The best of the bunch, in my opinion, is Zenyatta Mondata (narrowly edging out Synchronicity). This album encapsulates in stunning fashion all the elements that made the Police such a special band: Sting's compelling vocals and entrancing bass lines; Copeland's energetic polyrhythmic drumming; and Summers' spare, supple guitar work. No band could latch on to an infectious groove and drive it home like the Police. Zenyatta Mondata is proof positive of that.
The album gets off to an astonishing start with "Don't Stand So Close to Me," a song inspired by Nabokov's Lolita that tells the tale of a school teacher's forbidden affair with a nubile young student. From its outset, "Don't Stand So Close to Me" creates an atmosphere of obsession, foreboding, and desperation. It builds tension slowly, reaching almost unbearable levels, before launching into one of the catchiest choruses in rock history. Striking and seductive, "Don't Stand So Close to Me" was a smash hit single and sets the perfect tone for this remarkable album.
The opener's intensity extends to the album's next two songs as well. On "Driven to Tears," Sting makes his first foray into the political realm, decrying the impoverished conditions in the third world but flummoxed as to how to solve the problem. As good as its lyrics are, it's the music that propels the song and provides its sense of urgency. "When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around," a sly take on post-apocalyptic ennui, features one of Sting's most sinuous and hypnotic bass lines and is driven forward by Copeland's insistent drumming and fleshed out by Summers' ethereal guitar. It is perhaps the band's most underrated song and ranks in my top five of Police favorites.
Zenyatta Mondata is not without its moments of pure pop bliss. The unusually titled "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" was a huge hit and is one of the band's most instantly recognizable songs-an upbeat pop-rocker dedicated to those poor lovelorn fools in the world whose tongues always seem to get tied when attempting to express their deepest feelings. Other uptempo, pop-friendly, reggae-tinged work-outs include "Canary in a Coalmine" and "Man in a Suitcase." Copeland-who always adds at least one offbeat gem per album-weighs in with the witty rocker "Bombs Away." And one of the album's coolest songs is "Voices Inside My Head," a lyrically sparse mid-tempo number boasting a repetitive groove that quickly gets under your skin (in a good way).
Of the album's remaining songs, two are instrumentals ("Behind My Camel" and "The Other Way of Stopping") and the other is "Shadows in the Rain," which was later given a jazzy makeover for Sting's "Dream of the Blue Turtles" album. While none of these are particularly memorable, they aren't unlistenable, either.
If you're someone who thinks a single-disc compilation of Police hits is all you need to own of this groundbreaking band, I challenge you to pick up this album and discover for yourself all the amazing music you've been missing. My guarantee: you will not be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Police - ZENYATTA MONDATTA (1980), August 5, 2006
By 
Tom Benton (North Springfield, VT USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Zenyatta Mondatta (Audio CD)
Though The Police had their commercial breakthrough with 1979's REGGATTA DE BLANC, it was on their next album, 1980's ZENYATTA MONDATTA, that they firmly established themselves as one of the biggest bands in the world. Considered by some to be the group's finest album, ZENYATTA MONDATTA found the group perfecting their unique blend of reggae-rock. The result is some of the band's most stellar material: the hit singles "Don't Stand So Close To Me" and "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da", the radio hit "When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What's Still Around", and numerous other masterpieces such as "Canary In A Coalmine", "Man In A Suitcase", and "Driven To Tears". Guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland are at their best on this album; Copeland contributes another very fun composition, "Bombs Away", while Summers' instrumental "Behind My Camel" grabbed a Grammy Award. "Shadows in the Rain" received a superior makeover years later on Sting's debut album, THE DREAM OF THE BLUE TURTLES, but the rest of the songs are untouchable.
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