Singer/songwriter/guitarist Mark Knopfler may still be recovering from the motorcycle accident that nearly killed him in 2003, but it's no excuse for this flaccid EP of "live in the studio" recordings. Released in 2004, Shangri-La was a bare-bones affair that found the legendary Dire Straits leader assuming a more contemplative and fatalistic persona than in previous efforts, resulting in one of his moodiest -- but not altogether unpleasant -- solo outings. That Shangri-La was recorded with little or no overdubs makes this eight-song performance somewhat redundant. Nothing new is brought to the table except the inclusion of "Rüdiger" from 1996's Golden Heart, and even that track is the same as the original recording -- minus the strings this time around. As expected, however, the playing is top-notch, the recording impeccable, and the tunes are strong.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger