"Gorgeous songs, sung in a voice that sounds like it's lived a life that's full": Mark Knopfler repeats his formula to great effect on One Deep River

Dire Straits mainman Mark Knopfler delivers one of his best solo records

Mark Knopfler: One Deep River cover art
(Image: © British Grove/EMI)

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To paraphrase Kenneth Tynan on Eugene Ionesco, once you’ve heard all of Mark Knopfler’s solo albums, you’ve heard one of them. 

There’s one or two reflective world-weary ballads, a couple of reflective world-weary toe-tappers, and some finely wrought reflective world-weary character studies that are self-contained short stories. 

Because the thing about Knopfler’s solo albums – of which this is the tenth, if you don’t count soundtracks – is that it doesn’t matter that they’re all cut from the same cloth, because it’s a brilliant cloth, part Dylan, part folk, part stadium melancholy. 

One Deep River is one of Knopfler’s best. These are gorgeous songs, sung in a voice that sounds like it’s lived a life that’s full, and the character songs – which Knopfler has excelled at since Sultans Of Swing – are as poignant as ever. Roll on album number 11.

David Quantick

David Quantick is an English novelist, comedy writer and critic, who has worked as a journalist and screenwriter. A former staff writer for the music magazine NME, his writing credits have included On the HourBlue JamTV Burp and Veep; for the latter of these he won an Emmy in 2015.