jump to navigation

Reggatta De Blanc (The Police, 1979) 16 August 2007

Posted by Basilios in The Police.
Tags: , , , , ,



Reggatta De Blanc was the second album The Police released. In a way, it’s quite similar to the previous one (reviewed here), sticking as it does to the same formula: a collection of well played pop songs, some of them with slight infusions of reggae elements. But this is not just Outlandos D’Amour vol 2: the band has really gelled together, playing much more tightly, and there are fewer reggae influences, fewer love songs, and more pop. In fact, Sting here takes his first step towards the poppy, smooth and occasionally boring style he’d adopt in his solo career.

Browsing the song list, we find two more of Police’s classic pieces: Walking On The Moon and Message In A Bottle. Both were written by Sting, and they are definitely the best songs here. Walking On The Moon is a love song, about the feeling you feel falling in love and finding yourself loved back – and I know about it! It’s quite an unusual kind of love song, with its reggae colouring and its interesting lyrics.

Message In A Bottle, well, on the surface it appears to be about a lonely person living on a small island that decides to sending a message in a bottle asking for help. One day he finds many bottles floating to his island from other people. Being a castaway on a deserted island is a metaphor for isolation and loneliness; reaching out to the others around us will reveal that there are many around us that care for us. Quite a positive and heartening message, that makes me appreciate this song even more.

Bring On The Night is another song worthy of attention. As smooth, catchy and polished as it is, you wouldn’t guess what the lyrics talk about without paying attention. It talks in an oblique way about the feelings of a prisoner sentenced to death, and waiting for the end of his last day of life.

Steward Copeland contributes to many more songs this time, six, and I have to say that I like them less that Sting’s ones. I’m especially not fond of Contact and Does Everyone Stare, because they sound a tad monotonous and uninteresting, and in the company of the better songs of this album they pale. I can take or leave On Any Other Day, because of its goofy lyrics so much in the Copeland style, which is the good part (remember Be My Girl in the previous album?) and the odd and grating vocal delivery, which is the bad factor. I’m not sure what they were going for here, maybe some kind of Voice Of The Common Guy, but I don’t really like it much.

I’d also like to spend a few words on The Bed’s Too Big Without You. Just like in Outlandos D’Amour, Sting and company put in a much more reggae-heavy song in this album, and this is it. It’ is very nice and catchy, like a good reggae song should be.

All in all, I have mixed feelings about this album. As I mentioned above, the playing’s tight and good, the songwriting is more developed, and the good songs are really really good, but the lower points look lower. And stuck between these extremes there is a bunch of good but not exceptional songs, like the closing No Time This Time, that are nice and fast but sound like something I’ve already heard many times.

It’s a difficult thing for me to pick a mark for this album, and that’s why this review took so long in writing, but I have to admit that I have more positive than negative feelings about it. I’d still recommend Reggatta De Blanc to you, especially if you liked Outlandos D’Amour. And after all, if you like Police you’ve got to have Walking On The Moon!

Final Grade: 25/30



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: