Wednesday, July 6, 2011
The Police-- Zenyattà Mondatta (1980)
The third album by a group that seemed to create their own sub-genre of post punk/new wave music, Zenyatta Mondatta was a rushed affair that the group claim they have always been greatly disappointed by. But to the music lover/Police fan, this is an album of clever tunes and the usual literate and distinctive stylings of a band who could not be imitated (and obviously still can’t be). There is the slight edge of dub and reggae that they were known for back in the 80s, but nowhere as prevelant as in their earlier albums. Some fans would even say this is the beginning of the transition to the more accessible sound of their biggest selling album, Syncronicity (1983). What most casual music listeners will remember most about this album is "Don't Stand So Close To Me", a song which references classic literature in the form of Nabokov's "Lolita". But there are some really great sonds on this album that most people might have missed (unless you're already a fan of their music, that is). I'm talking songs that are as catchy and hum happy as "Canary In a Coalmine" and "Man In a Suitcase", which have a sort of common musical thread if you listen to them back to back. There's also some rather complicated songs, such as the excellent "Driven To Tears", "When the World Is Running Down" and "Voices Inside My Head". And let's not forget that classic of social rebellion, "De-Do-Do-Do-De-Da-Da-Da", which on the surface comes off as a silly song, but the lyrics are filled with anger.
This is an album that is at once a fly stuck in amber and a still socially relevant catalogue of political and social commentary. It also happens to be a classic rock album, so if you don't have it yet, get it. Add it to your horrorhead collection, without delay.
1."Don't Stand So Close to Me" – 4:04
2."Driven to Tears" – 3:20
3."When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around" – 3:38
4."Canary in a Coalmine" – 2:26
5."Voices Inside My Head" – 3:53
6."Bombs Away" (Stewart Copeland) – 3:09
7."De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" – 4:09
8."Behind My Camel" (Andy Summers) – 2:54
9."Man in a Suitcase" – 2:19
10."Shadows in the Rain" – 5:02
11."The Other Way of Stopping" (Copeland) – 3:22
(Visit The Police official website here)