Ghost In The Machine review by Police

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  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.5 (4 votes)
Police: Ghost In The Machine

Sound — 7
I'm certain, in my own mind, that this album has an extremely grand sound. The writing style of most of the album has Sting's fingerprints all over it, although the sound itself sadly doesn't have the fingerprints of The Police. The album is heavily laden with keyboards, brass and a hell of alot more over-dubbing than their previous three efforts (Outlandos D'Amour, Regatta De Blanc, Zenyatta Mondatta). It feels as though the guitar and drums are barely given any room for expression. At this point, however, The Police had gained massive commercial success and (most certainly) a much greater budget from A&M Records to produce Ghost In The Machine. This combined with a new producer and an ever-changing music industry obviously led to 'Ghost' becoming a much more stereotypical 80's album. Even the Copeland song "Darkness" and the Summers penned "Omegaman" seem over-run with 80's over-tones (although the latter does have an extremely good guitar solo from Andy Summers - good, but not 'Police'). Extremely well-written songs with an over-produced synth/keyboard/sax/ backdrop.. The only true Police song on this album that I can seem to locate is 'Secret Jouney'.

Lyrics — 9
Nobody can deny that Sting is a great lyricist singer. Most of the lyrics throughout this album tell a good story ('Invisible Sun', 'Secret Journey'), or have you hooked in an instant with their catchy phrases/repetativity ('Rehumaize Yourself'), or confuse you because you don't actually speak that language ('Hungry For You/J'aurai toujours faim de'toi') which shows the great thought and consderation given to these lyrics. The vocals ultimately reflect Sting's usual style, as shown with 'Regatta De Blanc', 'Zenyatta Mondatta' etc. One track that I do think is well written (lyrics-wise) is "Darkness", which you wouldn't expect from Copeland when considdering his previous efforts (like 'Bombs Away' and 'On Any Other Day').

Overall Impression — 8
Despite the fact that this album could have been so much better if it wasn't so over done, I still like it. Possibly the band's weakest release and I still like it? I don't understand either. There's a certain charm to some of the songs. This could never live up to the first trilogy of releases, but it's still an interesting listen. I just find it a shame that a fantastic song in 'Low Life' never made it onto the album and was condemned to be a B-Side.. I feel the album would have been better with it.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    belavista man
    Sgt. Pepper wrote: I feel 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' sounds nothing like the Police. The many layers of synth just wreck parts of the song. Sting recorded the song as a demo with a session keyboardist and Stewart Copleland and Andy Summers were forced to fit themselves around it. They hardly played it live because they didn't like it. Best song on the album? Secret Journey. Best Police cut? Message In a Bottle. I agree with you, Regatta de Blanc is the best Police album.
    +1 ELTSDIM is a good song, but it's not very Police-esque. And Secret Journey is a great song - quite under-rated.