Sound — 10
With their most successful album off all time, the Dire Straits all but exploded onto the mainstream music scene in 1985. And with good reason. The music don't get much better than this folks. From "So Far Away" to "Brothers In Arms," every song off this album is a treasure and guarantees enjoyment to all fans of the style. It opens up on a slow note, with "So Far Away," a somewhat bluesy number about the downsides of a long-distance relationship. Incredibley catchy and simple, it's no wonder this was one of the albums many hits. The next song is probably the most well-known off the album. From the surreal opening with vocals by sting, it is apparent that "Money For Nothing" is not your average rock song. After a minute of so of the airy voices, a strong beat emerges, followed shortly by one of the most legendary guitar riffs in the history of rock and roll. The sheer power of the song is enough to hold the attention of even those who are not fans of Dire Straits. After "Money for Nothing" dies down, it's time for the third consecutive single off the album, the Pop-sounding "Walk Of Life." The organ in the beginning is wonderful, and then the memorable main riff on the keyboard, the song is upbeat and catchy. The album then slows, but not to dissapointment. In fact, "Your Latest Trick" serves up one of the most famous saxophone lines of all time, full of emotion while keeping a calm flowing tone. The next song, "Why Worry," even as possibly the low point of the album, is an enjoyable song, and fits right into the flow of things. Next, it goes into the Jungle-rythmed "Ride Across The River," which is in my opinion, the most underated songs on the album. It is very-well thought out, and the primal feel to it genuinely increases it's value. Following this is probably one of my favorite songs on the album, "The Man's Too Strong." Once again, Knopfler shows his amazing versatility with an opening that has a distinctly country sound, with good ol' rock n roll and blues thrown in. After this enlightening track, the tempo picks up once more for "One World" which, despite being a great song, does not particularly stand out to me amongst some of the others. And of course, the finale, and trust me, this album does not end weakly. From the first-finger plucked notes, you know you are in for something special. Definatly the most emotional song on the album, it conveys it's message perfectly, and the soulfulness of it pulls at your very soul. All in all, there are no songs that I could qualify as less than excellent.
Lyrics — 9
Is there anything Knopfler can't do? Well, other than keep a full head of hair, no. Every song has a message, and every song's point is put across perfectly. Knopfler's voice, despite the fact that it would not be classified particullarly as "exciting", fits his style perfectly. And guess what? There are even guest vocals by Sting! Yay! Sting! There is a perfect equilibrium in the songs, not to much vocaless parts, yet not so much vocals that the music is completely drowned out. Many times, though, I find myself so caught up in the music I completely disregard the vocals, even after listening to this album literally thousands of times, there are some songs I don't know any of the words to. Other than that (which in truth, really isn't a completely bad thing, as it only goes further to prove how good the music is), there is nothing in the least degrading to say.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is a complete torpedo, blowing others out of the water as it charges forward to the forefront of my mind. This is the definitive Dire Straits album, heck, it's the definitive album of the '80s (although some people may argue Appetite For Desruction holds that title). It has every style of music imaginable on it. In my opinion, every song is impressive, but my favorite would have to be Money for Nothing, Walk Of Life, The Man's To Strong, and Brothers In Arms. I love just about everything about this album, even with some slow points. No Dire Strait's fans collection is complete without this album. If it were lost, I would mope for about a week but then buy it again right away, and if it were stolen, well, that's why I keep a 12-gauge in my backseat.