Synchronicity (Remastered 2003)

Synchronicity (Remastered 2003)

The members of The Police were famously at odds when they convened to record their fifth album, Synchronicity. However, the trio channeled any interpersonal tension into their music and songwriting, resulting in one of the best albums of the 1980s. Working once again with producer-engineer Hugh Padgham, The Police synthesized their inspirations into incisive commentary about modern life: the stifling monotony of the suburbs (the driving rocker “Synchronicity II”), dealing with dark nights of the soul (the incisive “King of Pain”), and challenging power dynamics (the sinewy “Wrapped Around Your Finger”). Most successful of all was “Every Breath You Take,” a song about obsession, driven by Andy Summers’ melancholic guitar line, a steely rhythmic foundation, and Sting’s yearning vocals. Prior to making Synchronicity, each member of The Police had explored different creative endeavors. Sting acted in the 1982 film Brimstone and Treacle, while Summers recorded an album with Robert Fripp, I Advance Masked, and Stewart Copeland composed the score for the movie Rumble Fish. These different experiences naturally influenced Synchronicity, with Summers contributing the avant-garde, saxophone-driven “Mother” and Copeland penning the quirky “Miss Gradenko.” Sting especially felt energized by emerging musical technology on Synchronicity. Having started composing using synthesizers on The Police’s previous album, 1981’s Ghost in the Machine, he added sequencers into his creative arsenal. This led to songs like the evocative “Walking In Your Footsteps,” which boasts a pulsing drum sequencer and cautionary lyrics about learning from dinosaurs. “Synchronicity I” boasts tension-filled rhythms and synths that percolate like hot coffee, while glacial keyboards provide a steady foundation for the proggy “O My God.” Synchronicity was a massive critical and commercial success, selling millions of copies worldwide and propelling The Police into touring superstars, while “Every Breath You Take” won two Grammys, including Song of the Year. Even though The Police never released another studio album, Synchronicity cemented the band’s legacy as one of the most ambitious, adventurous groups of the punk and New Wave eras.

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