NEW MUSIC WEEK 2016 (NOVEMBER 14-20, 2016)
First, the good news: this album is miles better than 2003's Sacred Love. The bad news is that Sacred Love was so bad the bar was set mighty low. Still, even though I'd begun to question his abilities of late, Sting hasn't lost his ability to write a good hook when he wants to. And, as Rolling Stone writes in a ★★★½ review, "57th & 9th is a no-lute zone" so we're all grateful for that. I'm glad Sting is trying to be a rocker again, even it's only for a few tunes. Now, you guys put your egos aside and give me my Police reunion album.I'm giving the CD booklet a thumbs up: in addition to lyrics and credits, it includes a track by track breakdown by Sting.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: to be determined
Tracks: With the three bonus tracks, this thing doesn't even last for 50 minutes. I'm going to divide the tracks into 4 separate categories below.
- Pre-1983 era Police: I Can't Stop Thinking About You, Petrol Head
- 1983-1993 era Sting: 50,000, Down Down Down,
- 1994-1999 era Sting: One Fine Day, Pretty Young Soldier
- Current balladeer/troubadour era Sting: South On the Great North Road, If You Can't Love Me, Inshallah, The Empty Chair
As for me, I'll be playing only the first half (tracks 1-6) of this one. If you've landed at this blog, you've probably figured out that I'm a CD guy, but if you've paid twice as much for the vinyl, just listen to side A and the first cut on side B (yes, Petrol Head is worth the trouble of flipping over the record).
The three bonus tracks include two alternate (read: unnecessary) versions of album tunes, but the last track is a great live take of Next To You, a track from the 1978 debut album by The Police. And even though they've smoothed off the rough edges with a conjunto vibe, thumbs up for that cut anyway. Metacritic has this rated at 67 which, if you consider the live track in the average, is the perfect number. In the whole of Sting's pop/rock œuvre, this one ranks somewhere in the middle, alongside Mercury Falling and The Soul Cages.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None
Previously revisited for the blog:
Sacred Love (2003)
Brand New Day (1999)
Roxanne 97 (Puff Daddy Remix) (1997)
Mercury Falling (1996)
The Best of Sting 1984-1994 (1994)
Ten Summoner's Tales (1993)
The Soul Cages (1991)
...Nothing Like The Sun (1987)
Bring On The Night (1986)
The Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985)