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A great band goes out on top,
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This review is from: Synchronicity [Digipak] (Audio CD)
It's hard to believe that the Police put out only 5 regular studio releases, but with Synchronicity they went out at the top of their game. Over the the span of those five collections, they had gone from a punk/white reggae outfit, to groove power pop, to a fully developed and uniquely identifiable sound. Synchronicity laid the groundwork for the beginning of Sting's successful solo career, as well as the future work of bandmates drummer Stewart Copeland drums and guitarist Andy Summers.
With the title in mind, the song and album theme borrows from and elaborates on Jung's psychology work. Sometimes two parallel events do collide at an opportune time. How else does one explain "Every breath You Take" as a popular romance ballad?
"Synchronicity I" leads off, an up-tempo number with excellent intensity, powerful drums and guitar washes. "We share this nightmare."
"Walking in Your Footsteps" is full of atmospheric guitars and primal drumming to explore themes like dinosaurs and early hominids...and modern ones. Spare yet full of sound.
"O My God" has a groove that harkens back to "Zenyatta Mondatta" and is notable for an instance of Sting recycling lyrics from "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic."
"Mother" is a bizarre, irritating song featuring Andy Summers on vocals, with a Norman Bates type theme. One could imagine this being played over and over during a fraternity hell week to drive pledges bonkers.
"Miss Gradenko" is Stewart Copeland's contribution, with his usual wry lyrics. "They were in a policy meeting, planning new ways of cheating..."
With "Synchronicity II" the disk really takes off. The instrumental dynamics are superb and there are dual stories of a nightmare suburban/corporate existence and something happening 'many miles away...' Great vocals by Sting.
"Every Breath you Take" is the track that sent this one skyrocketing, along with the famous black and white video. Spare guitar and keyboard lines along with pulsing bass and drums, with lush dynamic choruses make this a classic. The funny thing is that this is basically a song about a stalker, but people play this at their weddings. More great vocals by Sting.
"King of Pain" features some of Sting's best lyrical imagery yet, excellent instrumental dynamics and a memorable chorus.
"Wrapped Around Your Finger" is another gem, full of atmospheric guitars and keyboards, and Copeland's best drumming on the disk.
"Tea in the Sahara" is an underrated gem, featuring more cool guitar work and references to "beneath the sheltering sky" and exotic desert landscapes.
"Murder By Numbers" is a darkly comic song about committing the perfect murder, even taking out your entire family, and turning it into art.
Buy this one as your introduction to the band and work backward, or move forward through the solo work of Sting, Copeland and Summers.