Random Access: Synchronicity

Synchronicity        I have decided that starting tonight and every Friday after I am going to pick a random record from my collection and do an in-depth review of it. I have decided to do this for two reasons, one I want to share my thoughts and opinions about these records and two it allows me to dive deeper in to some of the records I own. My selection for tonight is “Synchronicity” by the Police.

The Police were an English band formed in London in the late 70’s. Fronted by bassist Sting the band made their mark by helping bring reggae into the main stream. Along with Sting was Andy Summers on guitar and Stewart Copeland on drums. “Synchronicity” is the bands 5th album and last studio release before breaking up in 1986. The album’s title was inspired by a book called “The Roots of Coincidence” by Arther Koestler. Sting who was a huge fan of Koestler’s also got the title to “Ghost in the Machine” by some of his work. Synchronicity finds the band leaving their reggae infused sound for a more worldly one. The whole album gives the listener a feeling that everything is connected or synchronized in some way. Songs like “Walking in Your Footsteps” and “O my God” talk about how there was life before humans and how there will be life after we are gone and that perhaps God isn’t necessarily as involved as we think. While Sting lends his voice and writing ability to most of the record, the other two members but in their two cents as well. “Mother” written and sang by guitarist Andy Summers talks about his relationship with his mother and how every women he meets ends up being his mother. I shouldn’t say he sings on this track because it is more like him talking in a creepy voice instead. Drummer Stewart Copeland also writes a song on this record called “Miss Gradenko” which talks about this person and whether or not she is safe. The title tracks on this record “Synchronicity I” and “Synchronicity II” are my favorite tracks on the record, both have a strong beat and the more traditional sound of The Police. With hits like “Every Breath you take” “King of Pain” and “Wrapped Around my Finger” it’s no wonder why this album not only went to number one in the UK but also in the states.

All in all The Police were a great band in my opinion but I just don’t like this record nearly as much as their first “Outlandos d’ Amour”. That album for me is by far the best work The Police ever did, songs like “So Lonely” “Roxanne” and “Can’t Stand Losing You” not only deliver the great reggae sound that I love but also adds an element of garage rock as well. “Synchronicity” however, just doesn’t offer the same kind of power as that album or really any of the other three. Basically what you get on this album is a handful of hits, and some creepy tacky songs and if you hate the hits you are left with just a sour taste in your mouth. I’m not sure if this was due to problems in the band or if this was just simply the direction they were wanting to go but for me they had a good thing going so why change.

Like I said I am a big fan of the Police, I thought they did great things for reggae and had a really interesting sound and even though I wouldn’t ever pick this album over any of the other four I’m glad I own it.

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