The Police – Synchronicity (’83)

You’ve been letting your feelings show, are you safe Miss Gradenko?

I don’t know much about The Police. In fact, I don’t really want to. I find Sting to be unbearably arrogant and his solo work needlessly sappy. (And honestly, what the fuck is he singing about anyway? See, here). But good god, Synchronicity is amazing. Synth-y. Heavy on the bass, with some jungle beats thrown in for good measure. Cheesy yet fitting harmonies. Basic pop song structure. Miss Gradenko is phenomenal. Repetitive but phenomenal, and surprisingly written by Stewart Copeland rather than Sting. If you omit Every Breath You Take it’s a damn well near perfect LP. There’s even a song about dinosaurs. O My God indeed. And yet.. and yet.

There is something missing. Where is that collaborative band-y quality? It feels hollow, shallow. At this point Sting had fully grasped onto the reins of creative control, splintering the band’s already strained relationship to critical mass. It’s all over the place. Happy, sad. Fast, slow. These qualities have the potential to become cohesive in the context of an album but The Police just don’t succeed. It’s jumbled. Fragmented. The material is good material, but the presentation is horrible. And yet it’s enjoyable, in an odd way. Like how Syd Barrett’s The Madcap Laugh’s is enjoyable. You love it to bits, but it’s painful, knowing what comes next; in Syd’s case, insanity. In the Police’s, dissolution. Synchronicity, for me, is a transitory album. And that’s just fine.

The Police – Synchronicity

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