MOR noir on dire Geordie's solo fourth

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Mark Knopfler – Shangri-La

The only consolation in Brothers in Arms’ planet-conquering weight was the way it crushed Dire Straits, too, leaving them capable of only one limp follow-up before Knopfler retreated to a low-key solo career. Shangri-La should be more appealing, steeped as it is in pulp narratives and mid-century Americana: Sonny Liston and McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc are featured, and “Don’t Crash The Ambulance”, seemingly set down a Cold War missile silo, gets the hardboiled lingo just right. But mostly it’s mannered, played with tepid, mid-paced, life-draining politeness: more James Last than James Ellroy.