Review by JW July 18, 2003 (9 of 11 found this review helpful)
|Synchronicity starts of alright with The Police's familiar, intelligent and catchy pop-rock, sprinkled with a little jazz. But after the first song it goes downhill for me, culminating in the horrible, atonal primal screams of 'Mother'. I'd hate to ask the group what on earth happened that day...I mean, what did she say ??? :-). It would make Johnny Rotten proud. Perhaps a momentary lapse of reason (yeah, yeah..I know). Anyway, what started out pretty reasonable was immediately lost once I reached that song. With 'Miss Gradenko' they more or less recover somewhat but it's still fairly mediocre.
And then...kaboom! The contrast could not be greater. From track 6 onwards it's classic after classic, with 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' as a highlight in my view. One of the strongest Police tracks period. The others need no introduction except 'Murder By Numbers' perhaps. The latter is a good song with some nice guitar/bass cooperation and strong singing by Sting.
One more word on the sound quality. I totally get what Mark says about it in his write-up. The sound quality is reasonably good, but the recording still is a little hard on the treble. Now this is not a jazz combo recorded with tube equipment. My guess is that the mastertape already displays some of this treble hardness. I have also heard better hi-hat and cymbal reproduction. A nicely packaged SACD, but not one of the best sounding SACD's around (2-3 stars).
Overall the sonic merits of this series are questionable, measured against the high standard SACD is capable of. They may be better than the previously released RBCD, but have they received the best possible treatment to let them shine on SACD? I think that a similar result could have been achieved on RBCD 'done right' and from there stems my slight disappointment in this series. None of them merit a higher than 3 star rating in my view. Having said all that, I have to note that perhaps the mastertapes did not allow for a better transfer. I cannot judge that. Check out my other reviews of The Police remasters to compare notes and see what you think. After repreated listening I would rank them as follows:
1 Zenyatta Mondatta: good bass, balanced sound with extended treble
2 Regatta de Blanc: sound equal to ZM
3 Ghost In The Machine: richer and darker sound than others with good bass
4 Synchronicity: better than Outlandos but a little veiled
5 Outlandos d'Amour: metallic treble that at times sounds congested, somewhat flat
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