You could focus in on all the things that make Mark Knopfler seem unlikeable – the headbands, the song Walk Of Life – or you could think about the soundtrack albums, the first four Dire Straits records (stunners, all of them). And really, it’s fine either way, it’s up to you.
His signature guitar sound (borrowed, just a wee bit from J.J. Cale and Richard Thompson) and his signature vocal style (he’s always sounded like a 60 year old man, now, finally it all falls into place) is either your cup of tea or it isn’t, but Knopfler, for all his faults – and largely that seems to be arriving at the height of punk and promptly setting about to do his own thing (that seems like something of a punk spirit/ethos to me) – is a guy who cares about the craft of songwriting.
Privateering is a double-album, a big ask in this day and age. But stick with it, Knopfler will reinvent versions of folk and blues and remind you of why you loved that wonderful Dire Straits material – if you did.
He will rub against the sound of the shining moments from his solo albums to date. And offer so much more beyond.