The Police Synchronicity


The Police Synchronicity


I feel connected to maybe less people but at a deeper level. But at the time, at the height of the Police's popularity we were connected to a mass conciousness if you like, a feeling - you can't intellectualise it - it's just a feeling and it reflects in record sales and stuff. So yeah, there is a moment when you think 'Oh, so that's what making it is'. You feel connected, you don't feel like your outside anymore, you are in fact the centre of something.

You feel very much part of the web of communication. We hated each others guts, and we had no respect for each other. Actually, I did, but I just felt like a piece of shit. The Police is a band for whom I have held little regard in the past. Originally, they were the stars of a bubble gum commercial. The principal songwriter and front person Sting proclaimed that we were nothing more but spirits in a material world and made a plea for all to rehumanise.

Thus began their ascent from the teeny-bopper category. Not only is 'Synchronicity' The Police's best album, but it is probably one of the most socially relevant records in recent years. In his lyrics, Sting has abandoned the typical ephemeral subjects that pervade rock music, and quite ably tackled such institutions as marriage and religion.

It is not a happy album. The familiar Jamaican rhythms are still prevalent and Stewart Copeland provides varying drum beats that could get cats dancing, but it's all to no avail. The lyrics on 'Synchronicity' describe honestly the bleakness of the world - our preoccupation with doom, our abandonment of love, the general lack of faith.

Like the former's namesake, both are odes to deja vu, the latter predicting the fate of modern times to that of prehistory's. The two tracks, 'Mother' and 'Miss Gradenko', are quite out of context with the rest of the album.

I suspect they appear only as a gesture to the 'De Doo Dah Dah' legion of fans. The final track on side one is 'Synchronicity II', the most astute song Sting has written. The bitterness of the lyrics is chased along by some of the tightest music that The Police have recorded. Where Bob Dylan used a locomotive as an image of good coming to mankind's rescue in his song 'Slow Train Coming', 'Synchronicity II' foresees impending doom in the shape of an avenging Loch Ness monster.

Side two is a more personal collection of songs. It Opens with the current single 'Every Breath You Take', a rather plodding tune with a basic theme of jealousy. It leaves a puzzling end to a most interesting album. The "thought" Police have arrived. For a band rumoured to dislike each other, to be past their peak and on the verge of breaking up, The Police aren't doing too badly.

Their new single, the dreadfully simple but dreadfully catchy 'Every Breath You Take', has cruised effortlessly to No.

The opening title track, a high, tinkling piece that sounds as if it is being played at the wrong speed, is one of the less happy examples. Elsewhere there are unusual wailing guitar effects from Andy Summers who comes over particularly well on this album , and the band manage to sound far bigger than a 3-piece, and far more interesting than when they play live. Once again, Sting uses the songs to tackle some weighty metaphysical topics, and some delightful lyrics result.

The drummer, Stewart Copeland, adds one track, which sounds like something from Andy Summer's recordings with Robert Fripp, while the one Summers track, 'Mother', is a revelation. Based on the idea that "every girl I go out with becomes my mother in the end," it's a part-spoof, part-manic track that shows The Police shouldn't be written off quite yet. After listening to 'Synchronicity' for the first time, it becomes quite clear that the Police do not intend to stand idle or wallow in former glories, Whether it's because Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers feel threatened by the host of new bands desperately trying to imitate their immensely successful sound, or because they're fearful of, God forbid, being categorized by the rock press, 'Synchronicity' is yet another dimension of the Police we've never heard before, And even though the album is wiry and fragmentary at times, and so personally emotional that some of the songs actually come too close, 'Synchronicity' is a wonderfully brilliant record.

The song's clever simplicity and spiny hook coupled with Sting's near perfect vocals makes the tune a natural hit But it's hardly representative of the album as a whole. Side one tears away at any preconceptions the listener might have because of 'Every Breath You Take'. Neither tune can match any of Sting's compositions either in style or output, but their inclusion here helps make the LP more balanced and democratic.

First up is 'Every Breath You Take' followed by 'King of Pain', an excellent song that never ceases to challenge the listener, 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' and 'Tea in the Sahara', both of which dutifully remind us why the Police and Sting, in particular, are the best things that have happened to rock since the Sex Pistols.

The songs are surreal and delicate, illuminating and even a bit amusing, and they never fall to disregard the noble conventions of what a good pop tune is all about. One way to make music in a high-tech age is to use instruments that are products of the age - synthesisers, for instance - to generate rhythms that are as un varying as the quartz oscillators in the latest digital watches. That's what such so-called techno-pop bands as Human League have been doing. The Police, on the other hand, avoid a robotic effect by keeping a readily identifiable guitar sound and rawing from a variety of rhythmic influences.

At the same time, the blending of bassist Sting's bright, keeing vocals with guitarist Andy Summers' billowing fills and gleaming, fine-edged accents suggests an up-to-the-minute intimacy with microworld aesthetics.

The wild card in the set is 'Mother', by Summers Sting writes most of the songs. Sounding more like Captain Beefheart than the Police, it's a blackly humorous portrait of a poor shlep who needs only to hear the phone ring to start ranting.

Every time he picks up the receiver dear old Mom is there. The Police are much like Gods to their pop universe, not only in their worship rating but in their omnipotent attitude to their work. They operate without any lead to earth or deference to schedules. It somehow has no relevance that 'Synchronicity' appears two years after 'Ghost In The Machine' and after one year of public absence: its assumptions are such that they might never have been away.

Like Bowie, Sting has the ability to orientate this world to his own pace. The sinister flavour of the lyric, professing an obsessive love hooked up to a devouring domination, is one of Sting's long suits; the vaguely threatening undertow of the sound is another. When the golden archangel voice suddenly soars, polished by the finest recording money can buy, it's as if brilliant floodlights have been turned onto a moody, malevolent little song.

The communion between darkness and light in pop music has its supreme incarnation in The Police. Though Sting has worked on that for a long time it wasn't until 'Ghost In The Machine' that it came good. The opening salvo of 'Spirits In The Material World', 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' and 'Invisible Sun' was the most ambitious and expansive music they had made, at once concentrated and inquiringly diverse; but from there the record turned in on itself until it wound up desiccated.

When you compared the bottom-heavy chug of The Police's 'Demolition Man' with Grace Jones' version - which sounded like cold steel ripping the skin off pulpy flesh - you wondered it Sting's group were misleading their chief. Synchronicity sets them right without bonding them closer.

Although it magnifies the differences between Sting and Summers and Copeland it also evolves the group into a unique state: a mega-band playing off glittering experimentation against the sounding board of a giant audience.

It's the record of a group coming apart and corning together, a widescreen drama with a fascination at a molecular level. Some of the music fuses intuitive pop genius with wilfully dense orchestration so powerfully it stuns. It is occasionally sensational.

The effusive gallop of 'Synchronicity I' sets the first tone, a revision of 'Message In A Bottle' dynamics to sweep aside the cobwebs of inactivity. If the song is about as meaningless as its title, a mere galvanising exercise, the following 'Walking In Your Footsteps' focuses the character of the LP: a fresh response to being wealthy global citizens in a world on the brink of termination.

Or, how to reconcile the lush streamlining of technology with the simple sandals of liberalism. Sting's jungle fatigues may not have been any more convincing than Strummer's urban guerilla outfits but they appeared a sight more classy.

Yet the music has a startling inner energy The Police are new to. As 'Synchronicity' progresses it further dawns that Sting is using his unremittingly public life to retreat into a private propriety.

And in 'King Of Pain' Sting enters a realm he never dared before. Sting is a King Of Pain. The ambiguities persist in 'Wrapped Around Your Finger', a naif's trip to Costello country aswirl with luxurious harmonies. The record seems to grow more sensual and multi-faceted as it progresses, and it fittingly closes with 'Tea In The Sahara' - overtones of another apocalypse wedded to an atmosphere that is gold leaf and quartz gleam.

The Police have always been good with air and space - remember the chiming distances of 'Walking On The Moon' - and this is a fruitful visiting of those talents. It's an engaging collection.

Summers and Copeland have their own desultory moments on the first side - the guitarist's 'Mother' is a foolish Psycho scenario set to obvious programmatic music, and Copeland's 'Miss Gradenko' follows as a throwaway interlude - but it's their proficiency players that keeps them afloat. If it is Sting's record it still requires their expertise. It is also nearly inscrutable. While his companions look guileless on the sleeve.

Sling's eyes are secretly murderous. He smiles with a mouth that looks like it's about to bite the head off a baby doll. There are five songs that suggest he is working out a perplexed and vexed persona through his pop music, and the result is fascinating. But while the monolithic and hollow grandeur of 'Let's Dance' is trounced by 'Synchronicity', this record implies that Sting will grow as chameleonic as the other white demi-god of pop.

A performer of greatness taking veiled risks. A record of real passion that is impossible to truly decipher. Sunny pop melodies echo with ominous sound effects. Pithy verses deal with doomsday. A battery of rhythms - pop, reggae, and African - lead a safari into a physical and spiritual desert, to 'Tea In The Sahara'. Throughout the LP, these ideas reflect upon one another in echoing, overlapping voices and instruments as the safari shifts between England's industrial flatlands and Africa.

Though the Police started out as straightforward pop-reggae enthusiasts, they have by now so thoroughly assimilated the latter that all that remains are different varieties of reggae-style syncopation.

The Police and co-producer Hugh Padgham have transformed the ethereal sounds of Jamaican dub into shivering, self-contained atmospheres.

Even more than on the hauntingly ambient 'Ghost In The Machine', each cut on 'Synchronicity' is not simply a song but a miniature, discreet soundtrack. Before this LP, his global pessimism was countered by a streak of pop romanticism.

On 'Synchronicity', vestiges of that romanticism remain, but only in the melodies. In the lyrics, paranoia, cynicism and excruciating loneliness run rampant. The cuts on 'Synchronicity' are sequenced like Chinese boxes, the focus narrowing from the global to the local to the personal.

But every box contains the ashes of betrayal. In 'O My God', Sting drops his third-world mannerisms to voice a desperate plea for help to a distant deity: "Take the space between us, and fill it up , fill it up, fill it up! This "space" is evoked in an eerie, sprinting dub-rock style, with Sting addressing not only God but also a woman and the people of the world, begging for what he clearly feels is an impossible reconciliation.

The mood of cosmic anxiety is interrupted by two songs written by other members of the band. Guitarist Andy Summers' corrosively funny 'Mother' inverts John Lennon's romantic maternal attachment into a grim dadaist joke.

Stewart Copeland's 'Miss Gradenko', a novelty about the secretarial paranoia in the Kremlin, is memorable mainly for Summer's modal twanging between the verses. Of course Sting's major works here revolve around his own private life taking a downturn.

If the album suffers at all, it's from over-production. This band were never better than as a punchy reggae-lite trio and this was about as far as they could ever come without sounding pompous. It still has at its heart, however, a nugget of purest pop, and that makes it timeless enough. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. If you choose to use this review on your site please link back to this page. This page has been archived and is no longer updated.

Find out more about page archiving. Home Clips. The Police Synchronicity Review Album. Released Like this? Richard Cook of NME called Synchronicity "a record of real passion that is impossible to truly decipher", and felt that "although [the album] magnifies the difference between Sting and Summers and Copeland it also evolves the group into a unique state: a mega-band playing off glittering experimentation against the sounding board of a giant audience.

It's the sound of a group coming apart and coming together, a widescreen drama with a fascination at a molecular level. Some of the music fuses intuitive pop genius with willfully dense orchestration so powerfully it stuns.

It is occasionally sensational. In Melody Maker Adam Sweeting was less enthusiastic, saying, "I would guess that devotees of this extremely sussed trio will find plenty to amuse them, and indeed Sting has sown all sorts of cryptic little clues and messages throughout his songs However impressive bits of Synchronicity sound, I could never fall in love with a group which plans its moves so carefully and which would never do anything just for the hell of it".

Reviewing the reissue, Mojo ' s David Buckley stated that " Synchronicity [ In , Synchronicity was ranked No. Synchronicity has appeared on numerous rankings of the greatest albums of all time. All tracks are written by Sting , except where noted. Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. New wave post-punk. The Police Hugh Padgham. Retrieved 26 January The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January Rolling Stone.

New York. Retrieved 13 November Retrieved 25 January Retrieved 8 November Sound on Sound. Studio Sound. One Train Later , 2nd Edition Piatkus , page The Independent. Retrieved 21 August Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 November Retrieved 14 November Modern Drummer. July The Baltimore Sun. Chicago Tribune. In Brackett, Nathan ; Hoard, Christian eds. ISBN The Sacramento Bee. Smash Hits.

The Village Voice. Melody Maker. The Recording Academy. Retrieved 27 November



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8 thoughts on “ The Police Synchronicity ”

  1. Daizuru says:Synchronicity is the fifth and final studio album by English rock band the Police, released on 17 June by A&M Records. The band's most successful release, the album includes the hit singles "Every Breath You Take", "King of Pain", "Wrapped. Synchronicity is the fifth and final studio album by English rock band the Police, released on 17 June by A&M Records. The band's most successful release, the album includes the hit singles "Every Breath You Take", "King of Pain", "Wrapped Around Your Finger", and "Synchronicity II".
  2. Nijinn says:A battery of rhythms - pop, reggae, and African - lead a safari into a physical and spiritual desert, to 'Tea In The Sahara'. 'Synchronicity', the Police's fifth and finest‚Äč. Synchronicity is, in my opinion, the best album the Police ever recorded. If you are a fan of well-written songs with thoughtful, clever lyrics and great musicianship.
  3. Fegrel says:The album's original cover artwork, designed by Norman Moore, was available in 36 variations, with different arrangements of the colour stripes and showing. So it was that Synchronicity was to be their Abbey Road. A final masterpiece born out of tears and break-ups. Following a lengthy gestation, the album came with.
  4. Dolkree says:Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Synchronicity - The Police on AllMusic - - Simultaneously more pop-‚Äčoriented and. Every Breath You Take, King Of Pain, Murder By Numbers, Wrapped Around Your Finger, In Your Footsteps are all included on the Synchronicity album by The.

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