Wednesday, February 19, 2014

436 of 1001 Albums: Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms

Dire Straits is easy to see why people find appealing musically. They have a lot of instrumental talent that is blended with the sounds of the 80's that would have heavily appealed to that audience at the time. There is some great guitar playing, and I wish the keyboard sounds had been turned down a bit just so I could hear them better.

History: Something very cool and very notable about this album from Dire Straits is that it was the first channeled to the CD market. Cassettes and vinyls were still heavily around in the 80's, but the fact they were already channeling stuff in that direction is pretty cool. It also would be one of the albums to outsell it's vinyl version, and make more CD sales of the album. While audiences were really enjoying the album critics were mixed in their reception of the album. Some would rate it very positively while others were mixed.

Vocals: Mark Knopfler is the lead vocalist of the band, and he does have a great voice. I felt that sometimes though the tone of the music wasn't really matching the talent he was bringing to the songs though. His voicing is one that could expand past the 80's in sounding appealing. He has a steady range, and it always conveys the tone of the songs well. There is also Guy Fletcher who is contributing to vocals as well in the tunes, and they bring a good balance.

Instrumentals: There are lots of keyboards used in the tunes, but there is also a whole lot of other instruments as well that contribute to the tunes. Knopfler is also a guitarist, and the sole guitarist at that. It's his guitar that is featured on the album cover, and one of the staple sounds of the band as well. There is also a bass player and drums, but honestly it's hard to compete with the sounds of the guitar that are the best part of the tunes. The keyboards though are heavily included and a bit overwhelming to the talent that expands outside the tunes like the horns, trumpets and saxophones used.

Recording: There was a lot of time put into recording this album that would span from 1984 to 1985. It would also involve some of the first digital recordings happening in music, which definitely explains why this album is so significant just outside of it's Grammy and award accomplishments. There is even some innovative techniques used between the guitar and microphone that would pioneer new sounds in music. Each song was given attention to capturing certain atmospheres and imagery as well.

Dire Straits album Brothers in Arms may not be the most interesting album I've ever listened to, but it has a remarkable place in what it did to progress music forward though. It was a huge digital impact of shifting music in the direction it went, and even with the guitar there are sounds that the band innovated that listeners would enjoy.

Rating 7 of 10.

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