This album helped me through a difficult time in my life, yes it is cathartic. Both the music and lyrics are key here, because both at times are obtuse. The musicality here is subtle, this is not a dancefloor album and you have to listen properly for the flourishes, and they shine brightly when found.
Notes on some songs: Mad About You is a stunning musical and thematic revisit of Every Breath You Take, The Wild Wild Sea competes with Roger Waters for paranoia, and Why Should I Cry For You is simply heartbreaking. Also, notice how the title track begins with a raging menace, and ends in vivid despair, simply breathtaking.
Some may argue this is not Sting's best, but one thing is clear - this was his last album with any edge. In fact, apart from Synchronicity, it may be his only album with any edge. A warning - it cuts, so it may not be for everyone despite it's excellence.