Review Summary: The aptitude to place oneself in another's trail; an homage, fostered by moments and weathered tracks.
In an industry presuming loudness and digital compression, it comes as no surprise that Mark Knopfler fancies the warmth of dynamic recording and tape -to encompass an array of acoustic folk ornaments amongst the subtlety of his guitar. Besides, a proper trail register is made of wood and although some share elaborate carvings -the essence of the traveler, the study of trail philosophy and chronicles, his take on the story, can be found even inside the more common "mailbox" type.
Tracker, marks solo effort number eight for the ex-Dire Straits frontman; he will draft and comment in the journal of "low man" heroes, using light pencil strokes and side notes. To repeat, the trademark guitar takes back seat, either for Mark aged 65 won't oblige to feel safe behind his cardinal affiliation; or perhaps, he can feel even safer behind decades of compositional know-how and high emotional quotient. Anyhow, you could be hiking... if not appositely boating a river town, or hitting the pub after a walk on Grainger Street; your companion will reminisce of vagabonds on foothill illuminations of Mount Etna, or the days before the success... Indeed, he'll pay homage to his muses, who were not of the godlike type -some of whom were lady writers (suitably Dire-esque, unsuitably short), some were once mighty working-class heroes or crowd pleasers, and some were simple girls he misses.
In truth, I can't be certain if Mark has another string to his bow so that he can attract new fans. Likewise, the narrative clarity to aurally portray a poet he met, while working for six and six down on the Evening Chronicle, might not be enough to fully extenuate a few misdemeanors -as the incongruous Ruth Moody duet outro, or the sporadic overflow of sax mildness. On the other hand, if you track the trail and put the pieces of his registers together, you may actually get why he's reluctant to fill live playsets with Strait hits; there's something inherent that consumes him with benevolent curiosity... Chiefly, discordant with keeping track of former mtv glory; in short -Empathy.
* "...Bury all joy
Put the poems in sacks
And bury me here with the hacks
In the summer the fair
Will stretch over the Moor
Lovers will lie and make out in the park
Basil puts on his old duffel and scarf
And goes out into the dark..."
*Excerpt from Basil.