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Worth it for 'Desert Rose'
on 2 August 2006
On the sleeve of 'Brand New Day',Sting stands poised to spring from a lift and whisk a bewteeful laydee away to paradise (out of shot he's probably sat on a white horse).Digitally piped through hi-fi speakers perhaps he's listening to his own back catalogue? It's easy to laugh at Sting for being an ego on a stick. He is an ex-English teacher after all, and one suspects a 'recovering catholic'(?),so it should be easy to forgive the pseudo-literary,Carl Jungy ,Tantric sex thing. The following is also true; even if he didn't have one of the most compelling voices in contemporary music (which he does)and hadn't written a handful of songs that stand comparison with the very best (which he has)he would still be amongst a handful of truly world class bass players. His lines are always coolly elegant, and precisely what the song requires, eschewing obvious technical display. 'Brand New Day' isn't Stings best album, there are songs here that could be dispensed with, without the record losing anything substantial, as I think, this is probably true of all his solo output, which puts them outside the remit for truly great records (The Police managed this with monotonous regularity - imagine taking anything off 'Outlandos d'Amour' without leaving it seriously diminished?)Alot of 'Brand New Day' is just bland, and one gets the feeling that his forays into unfamiliar musical genres, overstretch even his prodigious talents. Play 'Fill Her Up' next to something by Steve Earle at his 'trailer trash' best and it just sounds stupid. Rythming weasel with diesel- an ex-English teacher! An earlier reviewer called Sting an 'informed' rather than an 'inspired' musician. He's informed alright, but to say he's never inspired is just plain wrong. Try this;take your car onto a deserted motorway. It's 3.00am and pouring with rain. Drive the car fast, (that's 70mph -probably)and play 'Desert Rose' very, very, very loud (Cheb Mami has the voice of an Angel).If you don't get a bang from that, and can't feel the word 'inspired' hanging somewhere in the ether,you're probably dead, and shouldn't be out on such a p*** poor night.