After a 23-year absence, The Police return in (almost) all of their former glory. One of the best things about this live album is the extended jams, solos, and re-arrangements that breath fresh air into the old songs ("Wrapped Around Your Finger", "Driven To Tears", "King Of Pain", and the "VIMH/WTWIRDYMTBOWSA" medley simply destroy the old album cuts), which of course still sound fresh even today. Sting's bass work is stronger than ever and pushed up in the mix. Stewart Copeland is still a drumming prodigy and the star of the show, playing tastefully and unloading the heavy artillery when needed. Andy Summers fiery playing belies his 64 years of age, tossing off solos left and right along with his trademark chorus/effect-laden chordal patterns. The band truly sounds amazing, hands-down. Despite a few stumbles ("Don't Stand So Close To Me" is a bit too pedestrian, "Truth Hits Everybody" is about half-speed, and Sting can't quite hit those notes like he used to) the band is tighter and better than ever before, and like Sting said, they were really good to begin with. Simply put, there aren't any bands like this around anymore and that's a shame.
Go inside the Newark Police Department–one of many troubled forces in America ordered to reform. Writer and historian Jelani Cobb examines allegations of police abuses and the challenge of fixing a broken relationship with the community.
Simultaneously more pop-oriented and experimental than either Ghost in the Machine or Zenyatta Mondatta, Synchronicity made the Police superstars, generating no less than five hit singles. With the exception of "Synchronicity II," which sounds disarmingly like a crappy Billy Idol song, every one of those singles is a classic. "Every Breath You Take" has a seductive, rolling beat masking its maliciousness, "King of Pain" and "Wrapped Around Your Finger" are devilishly infectious new wave singles, and "Tea in the Sahara" is hypnotic in its measured, melancholy choruses.
For their fourth album, 1981's Ghost in the Machine, the Police had streamlined their sound to focus more on their pop side and less on their trademark reggae-rock. Their jazz influence had become more prominent, as evidenced by the appearance of saxophones on several tracks. The production has more of a contemporary '80s sound to it (courtesy of Hugh Padgham, who took over for Nigel Gray), and Sting proved once and for all to be a master of the pop songwriting format.