Mark Knopfler, former front man of Dire Straits, has had a fascinating solo career, and wrote the score for a number of movies, including The Princess Bride. Get Lucky is a decent offering, not one of his best works, but it still has some outstanding individual tracks. If you’re looking for a Dire Straits album, this is not it. Still, Knopfler is well versed in more than just the rock he is best known for, and it shows. Now, I’ll be honest. I love his work with Dire Straits. I’ll give any of his work a chance. Get Lucky doesn’t quite do it for me.
Kicking off the album is Border River, which has a very Celtic feel to it, reinforced by references to “Glasgow town”, is a slower tune about having pride of Britain. “‘Sure as the sunrise’, that’s what they say about the Albion”, Albion being apparently the oldest known term for the Isles of Britain.
You Can’t Beat The House, one of the high points of the album, is an excellent blues number, seemingly about hitting rock bottom “Even the piano player, man, he don’t care who he shoots”, seems to be more a metaphor about life in general; it is the lament of a man who has been there, noting the folly of others and wanting to keep others from making the same mistakes he did says “Tell that man somebody, you can’t beat the house.”
For you Dire Straits fans out there, title track Get Lucky is reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, at least at the melody level. Lyrically, it’s about the working stiff, worried about rent and bills (The one about happiness and money – tell it to the bread line), who yearns for something better, and the admonition that “you might get lucky now and then, yeah, you win some”
All in all, it’s a decent album. It’s great that Knopfler is doing what he wants, musically, but of his past works, Get Lucky is not his best. It’s mostly going to be of interest to his hardcore fans, and more power to them. Still, some of the tracks are fantastic, and merit at least a listen.