The adult-contemporary shark makes a tempting target for a genre jumper such as Mark Knopfler. On Get Lucky he traverses that soul-eater and lands with a sound that's considerably mellower and less swinging than his Dire Straits heyday. Still, it's masterful: Focusing on pensive ballads and mid-tempo rockers, Knopfler adds in just enough blues, twang, Celtic folk and soul string arrangements to keep himself amused. And while he may never write another tune as catchy as "Walk of Life" or "Sultans of Swing," his narratives of sailors, pipers and racecar drivers are as vivid and finely drawn as any singer-songwriter of his generation. His hooks are quiet but deadly, and his guitar playing — whether on a sunny acoustic or well-sustained electric — sounds like no one else's.
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