On Every Street Review


6. Feb. 2011, 10:55

I made it - just under a month ago was when I posted my Brothers in Arms review and now it's time to review the final Dire Straits studio album, On Every Street. I admit this is my least favourite Mark Knopfler album ever, but that doesn't mean it's outright terrible. Saying that, it's probably my least played and the one I'm least familiar with, I probably couldn't even name all the songs off it. I will try my best to be fair and unbiased in this review, though.

Calling Elvis is the ripper that opens the album. It's probably always been my favourite off the album, but it still could've been a better track. The lyrics and atmosphere of the track are amazing and it was a great choice for the opening track. I love in particular the use of using Elvis's song titles to make up the lyrics... lucky Elvis put out some songs that rhymed. The fast little scale guitar part is pretty cool, though it gets slightly boring during the jam outro.

On Every Street is pretty good. The lyrics are amazing(Three Chord Symphony crashes into space/the moon is hanging upside down, i don't know why it is i'm still on the case/it's a ravenous town), those ones in particular stand out as some of Knopfler's best and sends shivers down my spine. The song is almost like a sequel to Private Investigations, in that it's told from the point of view of a possible P.I. or a former one - also note they both incorporate long, repetitive outros(which work amazingly in both cases). My only complaint about this song is that it would've been alot better if it had been the last track on the album. (and a fitting song to end the Straits)

What follows is the country tinged track When It Comes To You, which isn't atrocious, but it seems like it never gets going and wasn't really essential to the album. The lyrics weren't anything special either.

Jazz has never really been out of place for Dire Straits - ranging from Six Blade Knife, to Your Latest Trick to, It Never Rains but those songs were sizzling and interesting, whereas track 4, Fade To Black, never gets cooking nor does it ignite any feeling within you, the lyrics aren't as smart as Six Blade Knife nor are the vocals as heart wrenching. It's a song that had great potential that was utilized.

After Brothers in Arms it was almost like Mark Knopfler believed he had to include one upbeat rockabilly tune on each of his album from Walk of Life to The Bug to Cannibals. Not that there's really much wrong with that all three tracks are fairly enjoyable, however The Bug is probably the weakest of the trio. It's a fun song, with a nice message (one day you're on top of the world, the next day you might be in hell, but it's all part of life), but it sort of has some terrible mixing, Mark almost mumbles the lyrics and the vocals were too far down in the mix.

You and Your Friend, i believe evolved from the early, unreleased Straits song "Me and My Friend." It's a fairly boring track that was performed better on the On The Night live album.

Heavy Fuel was probably an attempt to satisfy the Money for Nothing audience, as it uses a similar guitar riff(a million times weaker) and is also written from the point of view of a similar character. It's okay song, like a lot of the tracks on this record, it probably would've benefited from some more time spent on it.

Iron Hand is the only time Mark Knopfler has put me to sleep. The track is just utterly boring for lack of a better word - no wait un-engaging.

Now I'm sure Ticket To Heaven seemed like a good idea way back when, but it just hasn't stood the test of time. It just comes off as smug.

My Parties is a track that most fans hate. But I think it's actually not that bad. The lyrics are - the chorus is allright it's probably about a 2.5/5 track, not amazing, but listenable.

The last two songs, The Planet of New Orleans and How Long are both forgettable tracks emphasizing on jazz and country respectively. Both are mediocre tracks with some OK lyrics and atmosphere. How Long probably tops When it Comes To You.

Also it puzzles me as to why How Long was chosen as the album closer.

Overall, this was a very, very disappointing album for me and is no where the power and caliber of all of Mark's other works. Thankfully he bounced back with 1996's Golden Heart.

Tune in Next week for that review.



  • robert7

    Nice review. But I Do disagree with your rating of Iron Hand, that has always been an underrated gem from Knopfler for me, very touching ballad I think. I also think that On Every Street doesn't get as much attention as it deserves, sure its not their best album but I really enjoyed it. I Look foward to your review of Knopfler's solo stuff.

    8. Feb. 2011, 23:47
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