The Police

A&M, 1983

REVIEW BY: Michael R. Smith


Just as the fifth and final album by Simon & Garfunkel (Bridge Over Troubled Water) was their best, so is The Police’s fifth and final effort, Synchronicity. At the time this review was been written, the three members of The Police had announced that they were reuniting for a summer world tour. Welcome back, boys, it’s been a long time. No word yet whether they will go into the studio to recreate some of the magic and record a new album, which is what many Police fans like myself are hoping for. It would definitely be what you might call a must-own.

So far, Synchronicity is the high-water mark by which all other Police and Sting albums are judged. More than half the songs in the second part of the album were hit singles, though the first part is equally as impressive. Both “Synchronicity I” and “Synchronicity II” are great rock tracks, but I’ve always preferred the former (even if it never became a single). Nowhere will you hear such upbeat material come out of frontman Sting, but at least now we all know he does have it in him to rock out when he needs to. If only his subsequent solo albums had the energy that my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Synchronicity does.

The Police sound of old can be heard on reggae-tinged tracks like “O My God,” “Tea In The Sahara” and “Murder By Numbers.” Unfortunately, those tunes pale in comparison to the other instant classics found on this album. There’s plenty of variation that makes for an exciting listen from beginning to end. At one end of the spectrum you have a pair of brief experimental numbers by Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland, respectively, “Mother” and “Miss Gredenko.” And then you’ve got the hit trilogy of Sting-led singles, “King Of Pain,” “Wrapped Around Your Finger” and the greatest Police song ever, “Every Breath You Take.” So help me, I’ll never forgive Puff Daddy for stealing the music for “Every Breath You Take” for his own purposes on the Princess Diana/Notorious BIG tribute, “I’ll Be Missing You.” When the rapper went to #1 with it, you could almost hear a collective groan by rock music aficionados everywhere. Sting never should have allowed a thing like that to happen.

If The Police do decide to have another go and attempt to put together a sixth album, they should really focus on having the new material pick up where Synchronicity left off. In particular, they would be best served if they went into the direction that “Walking In Your Footsteps” and “Mother” were going in. For some reason, those are the two songs that stood out the most for me. The music was inventive and was so different from anything the trio had ever attempted before. Certainly, they should recruit reliable producer Hugh Padgham to help them achieve a feat that many consider next to impossible. Stay tuned.

Rating: A

User Rating: B+



© 2008 Michael R. Smith and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of A&M, and is used for informational purposes only.