Sound — 9
This album is very, very different from the four preceding it. Ghost In The Machine marked The Police's real entrance to a typical 80's sound (i.e. heafty keyboard), whilst retaining some of thier Reggae-Rock roots. This album seems to hone a more Synth/Pop feel. In a fairly stark contrast to the other releases, the guitars on this one take a much less prominent role, seeming to be pushed into the background by the synth etc. Synchronicity II is the main guitar song from this one. In terms of bass, Sting's basslines are about as prominent as ever. Percussion, on the other hand, seems to have been reeled in and become much more tamed when compared with the wild fills and beats from Outlandos D' Amour and Regatta De Blanc, possibly highly due to the band's ever more pop-orientated sound. There is, however, still the odd classic Police track dotted here and there. O My God and Copeland's Miss Gradenko really show through as good old Police tracks.
Lyrics — 10
Sting's lyrics classically split into two catagories; the 'pop' and the 'sophisticated'. Despite this album being the band's most successful, there's very little Pop writing going on, besides the key single (Every Breath You Take), and arguably, King of Pain. Nearly all of the other songs are based around a concept or idea. Synchronicity I and II are based around Carl Jung's theory of Synchronicity (something along the lines of two completely seperate and seemingly unrelated events having some connection within meaning), and Tea In The Sahara is based around the book 'The Sheltering Sky'. Stewart Copeland's lyrics on Miss Gradenko aren't actually half bad; I love the song personally, and think it would have done alright as a single on one of the previous albums. When I say aren't half bad, they're brilliant when you consider he's a drummer (hooray for drummer jokes). Andy's lyrics on Mother are, like Sting's, also written with a basis in mind, but are much, much stranger due to the unconventional way which Andy chooses to sing them; as is Andy's way.
Overall Impression — 10
An album I can listen to for hours, but doesn't contain so many of my favourite Police songs. In terms of being a Police fan, and being a guitarist, I'd much rather listen to Zenyatta Mondatta or Outlandos D' Amour. If you want an album with a great Pop feel that hasn't dated so badly for an 80's release, I think you'll enjoy it. If you're expecting the same kind of stuff as Roxanne, Message In A Bottle and Can't Stand Losing You, this release might not be for you. In any case, I'd recommend this album to anybody as a general good listen.