Outlandos D'Amour album cover

The Police, Outlandos D'Amour

A&M, 1978, new wave, reggae, rock

B, 1966: Now this is why I fell in love with The Police when I first heard them in 1980 or so (only to fall out of love later with Synchronicity, which we already heard in this run-down). Great tempo and balance in the songs, very nearly a complete album. “Roxanne” is a modern classic by any standard, and well deserving. But I just love “So Lonely” with its near garage vibe and reggae beat paired with thin, urgent vocals, and changes in tempo.

C, 2002: Great album. Energetic, exciting, Stewart Copeland sounds fantastic (no shocker there) hitting those drums like there’s no tomorrow. I’ll choose “Hole in my Life” to not go with the super obvious popular songs.

H, 1951: Still sounds fresh, energized, sincere and authentic to me. The music is so strong and determined that it belies the emotional desolation expressed in many of the lyrics, but that somehow only adds to the overall charm of the album. Their later work would become more sophisticated, but I'm not sure it ever got any better. “Peanuts” is an amusing reaction to the evolution of Rod Stewart's musical career, although it's not clear that Sting himself appreciated this perspective once he too evolved from a young brash outsider to claim his own place in the pop music pantheon.

Published 20 Jan 2020

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