Mark Knopfler - "A Shot at Glory" Soundtrack 
Music Disc Reviews Audio CD
Written by Dan Macintosh   
Tuesday, 30 April 2002

A Shot At Glory: A Mark Knopfler Soundtrack
Warner Bros. Records, 2002
| Performance 9 | Sound 8 |

The soundtrack to "A Shot At Glory" has the title of "A Mark Knopfler Soundtrack" for good reason, since this former Dire Straits guitarist/vocalist is also an accomplished movie music maker.

His film-scoring resume also includes "Local Hero," "Wag The Dog" and "The Princess Bride." And while he may not exist in the same stratospheric realm of Randy Newman and Danny Elfman -- who are much better known for these sorts of Hollywood projects -- he’s certainly no slouch either. The skillful tracks he’s laid down for this film, which straddles a wide variety of musical flavors, present Knopfler as a true professional.

This album is mostly instrumental stuff, of course, but Knopfler’s Dylan-esque set of pipes also makes a few welcome appearances. "He’s The Man" features some of the man’s gruff singing, and "All That I Have In The World" has Knopfler in ballad mode.

There is a decidedly Scottish feel to the tunes on this disc, as Knopfler has given us a Lowlands to the Highlands tour of this particular musical region. "Training" is a slightly upbeat reel, while "For In A Row" ups the ante with its thumping, bass-heavy Irish-ness.

"Sons Of Scotland – Quiet Theme" is built mainly around acoustic guitar music, which is a stylistic mode Knopfler has always excelled at.

Similarly, "Wild Mountain Thyme" is gentle and quiet, while it also adds fiddles and pipes to the mix. On a grander scale, "It’s Over" creates a dramatic and sadly sweeping theme.

When setting a film in Scotland, one should obviously do as the Scots do. But there is also room for a little variety, which is why "Say Too Much" creates such a nice touch -- especially Steve Sidwell’s flugelhorn part.

Knopfler, always the perfectionist, gives this work a clean – yet not a squeaky clean – production sheen. Everything sounds in place, but warmth is never sacrificed for attention to detail.

Mark Knopfler has always been too restless to remain constricted within the limitations of a rock band, and "Shot Of Glory" has provided him with a large enough palate to paint another musical masterpiece.

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