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Reviews: The Police: Ghost In The Machine

Reviews: 4

Review by emilsjr March 9, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
Out of the 5 studio albums from the Police, I have always felt that this album was them at their best. The most unified album of a far to short career, many feel that "Ghost in the Machine" is too dark. Frankly, I think this album is an honest look at the world that is still as relevant in 2003 as it was in 1981 (how many other albums from 81 can you say that about?).

With the exception of "Every Little Thing She Does", the album presets a unified group of songs that touch on both political and technological issues. The SACD is simply the best digital representations of these songs I have ever heard (rather ironic if you think about it). Although not quite as warm as the first three albums, this albm is highlighted by some great bass and clear detail that easily beats my Message In A Box cd of this same album. This album is also the only one from the Police were I feel there is no filler. Highlights to me are "Spirits in the Material World", "Invisible Sun", "Omega Man", "Secret Journey". "Darkness" remains my favorite track on this album and sounds incredible here.

Although people will always argue as to which is the best Police album (and I have seen people argue for all 5), this is the peak for the Police. However, how many bands can say that all of their albums can be seriously considered their best? The Police were a miracle and we are lucky to have all their work presented in such an effective way.

Finally, I would have ranked the sonics at 4.5 if I could.

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Review by JW July 18, 2003 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is the fourth album by The Police and again it contains a host of world best selling songs. The album starts of very strong with the first 3 and really never lets up. It's really an interesting album which grows on you the more you play it, there is so much musical detail to digest. This album has not always been rated very well musically, but I have to agree with Emil's review below.

Overall the sonic merits of this Police 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 4 and 5, good bass, hard treble at times
4 Synchronicity: better than Outlandos but a little veiled
5 Outlandos d'Amour: metallic treble that at times sounds congested, somewhat flat

GITM deserves 2.5 stars in my book, which in this case I'll round down to 2 due to the treble issues on tracks like 'Omegaman' and 'Secret Journey' for example.

Jw

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Review by dorokusai August 3, 2003
Performance:   Sonics:
Another great SACD. Not as dynamic as Synchronicity, but a worthy SACD for buying and demo listening. I have yet to buy a bad SACD, this is great for my ears.

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Review by pvcmusiclover April 11, 2012 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Genuine DSD for sure and no trace of limiting!

I feel there's more "space" and coherency in this album than the previous two. I really don't like the bass, which out of proportion loud compared to the rest of the spectrum. The sonics are also a bit smeared and dark.

Quite simply, I'd love to hear a Steve Hoffman release of the Police albums, done with carefully contoured EQing and high end repro heads. We can all dream I guess..

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