Mark Knopfler

A Shot at Glory

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Mark Knopfler has the luxury of being selective about soundtrack work, and this is only his tenth film score in 17 years. It may be that he waits for films that can benefit from his approach, which is generally a lighter version of what he used to write and perform for Dire Straits and what he does on his solo albums. The soundtrack albums of his films usually are so closely identified with him that it's a dilemma where to shelve them in the record store, and this one is no exception; it is billed on the cover as "a Mark Knopfler soundtrack." The music will come as no surprise to anyone who's seen and heard such previous Knopfler soundtracks as those for Local Hero and The Princess Bride. There are some Scottish themes in keeping with the movie's setting (it's one of those sports films about a hapless team that somehow reaches a championship), a couple of slow-moving instrumentals in which Knopfler fingerpicks an acoustic guitar, and three vocal tracks. "He's the Man" sounds like it could fit on a Dire Straits or Knopfler solo album, with its rocking tune; "Say Too Much" is a jazzy number with trumpet and saxophone solos, but minimal lyrics; and "All That I Have in the World" is a tender ballad. Chalk up another Mark Knopfler soundtrack that finds him repeating himself, however pleasantly.

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