Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The Police - Ghost In The Machine (1981)


  

Released in October 1981

Recorded in Montserrat and Quebec

This is by far the most “rock” album of The Police’s five offerings. There is a convincing case for it being their best album too. In my opinion, it is by far the superior piece of work to its best-selling predecessor, the patchy “Zenyatta Mondatta”. It does not contain any “filler” instrumentals for a start.

“Spirits In The Material World” utilises that archetypal Police white reggae sound and here it is enhanced with some eighties-style synthesisers backing the reggae riff as Sting expresses his frustrations with current world politics. It is a great song, full of atmosphere and verve. One of their best. Sting’s bass underpins the whole song in a muscular, resonant fashion. “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” was a great choice for a single, and although the verses are Police-like, the chorus is really quite atypical of most of their work. “Invisible Sun” is a truly excellent, mysterious, moody track. Full of paranoia and a huge, pounding backing. One of The Police’s best rock tracks.

“Demolition Man” is a superb slice of powerful, bluesy rock. This is The Police again at their rockiest. Not a reggae note within earshot. Andy Summers contributes some searing guitar too. It was written by Sting for Grace Jones, and her version is outstanding in its own typical way. This one is different, though, as you can imagine.

“Too Much Information” begins with some searing guitar and has a huge drum beat and an insistent rhythm. “Rehumanize Yourself” is another pulsating, upbeat rock number. This is by far the “heaviest” material The Police had released.

The lively “One World (Not Three)” has lots of dub reggae parts in it and some reggae-stye brass bits. The more it goes on the more dubby it gets. “Omegaman” is a rumbling rocker that has a vibrant, pounding feel to it, with a huge bass sound and insistent drums. It is another very rock-ish number. “Secret Journey” is reggae tinged, but also very heavy in its rock stylings - big drums, big bass. As I said, this is defintely their heaviest album. “Darkness” is a laid-back, cymbals-driven beguiling song. Overall, this was a truly excellent, upbeat album.

B+

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