Mark Knopfler Golden Heart Vertigo 514 732-2

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The Independent Culture
Mark Knopfler's first solo album - not counting soundtrack work - adopts a similar dilettantish approach to Sting's latest opus, and suffers much the same drawbacks, flitting hither and thither between various non-native styles.

Besides the usual Dylanesque balladry and mellow blues licks, he essays a couple of songs in Gaelic mode - notably "A Night In Summer", a courtly- love ode dripping Uillean pipes, whistles and accordions, tries on a big stetson for the gentle country self-reproach of "I'm The Fool", and visits bayou country for several cajun-flavoured numbers. These latter, reinforced by the presence of such as Michael Doucet, Jo-El Sonnier and Sonny Landreth, are the strongest of Knopfler's roots offerings here, particularly the cute cajun two-step "Cannibals", about a little boy's dreams and wishes.

Elsewhere, there are protest songs and character vignettes, all of which land on one's consciousness with the same softly insignificant flop. Not a bad album, exactly, so much as a pointless one.