Monday, November 17, 2008

47. The Police - Synchronicity

This whole album defines the summer of 1983 for me. Everyone I knew was listening to it. The punks, the metalheads, the disco geeks - even my mother was in love with it. It was at times beautiful and at times dark and ugly. But the entire album from the funky Oh My God to the darkly melodic Tea in the Sahara - even the songs a lot of people write off like Miss Gradenko and Mother - were perfect musical specimens, showing off the talent of each individual band member and bringing everything together - music, lyrics, stories, emotion - in what I always described as a masterpiece (the overplayed and misunderstood Every Breath You Take notwithstanding). For me, the pinnacle of the album came on Synchronicity II, a tale of the darkness that looms under the surface in the life of a suburban family; how all the little things become big things when lived day to day, every single day of your entire life and sometimes it's enough to turn you into a monster that slowly creeps toward madness (my take, anyhow).

I really wish Sting didn't go off and fall in love with himself after this album. Then again, the band put out five near-perfect albums. Maybe they knew enough to quit while they were ahead.

Favorite song: Synchronicity II
Rolling Stone review from 1983


fatherjack said...

Right, you need to take a change of tack on album reviews now ... complete a review of all Police albums please.

For me King of Pain is top 3 on this album.

We, eatfoss and me, went to see The Police in Manchester this year. A 3 piece band with a combined age of over 150. Still Awesome but all songs reworked. Never saw them first time around, never thought I would see them.

Solonor Rasreth said...

I'm still slightly more in love with Outlandos d'Amour than this album, but it's one of the best ever.

Revolver used to play "Synchronicity II" and it was always fun to sing "humiliating kick in the crotch" to a bar full of drunks.

Timmer said...

I can't remember what movie we were watching but they put "Every Breath You Take" in as the background to a very romantic love scene, making it very very creepy where it simply shouldn't have been.

That song? "I do not think it means what you think it means."

Cullen said...

I was living on Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs when this came out. I remember every song vividly because that summer my friends and I lived at the base pool and the life guards played this album over, and over, and over, and over. I still love it, though.

margi said...

This was, hands down, the best concert I ever attended. It was 1984 - I was 18 and we were dancing up in the nosebleed seats.


And the smooth, bluesy jazz of "Murder By Numbers," I can remember my mom saying, "What the hell is he singing about?"

Yeah, mom. Not quite the same shock value as Prince's "Dirty Mind," but close enough. Heh.

Foss said...

Ah yes, the Manchester gig was awesome. To be honest I hadn't really listened to them before that gig. Love 'em now though!

Seeing a band live often raises my opinion of them by a long way. Deftones is a prime example. I used to hate them until I saw them live, then Around The Fur became my favourite album for months.

Marilyn Manson was the opposite though. He was so bad I fell asleep.

Anyway, I agree with your favourite track choice.

Theodore said...

Synchronicity II always made me wonder if it was inspired by the Kurt Vonnegut short story, "The Big Space Fuck." (Check it out). But that song and King of Pain are probably my fave Police efforts. Mmmmm.