57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Show some respect!
Anyone who approaches this album wanting something similar to The Police or Sting at his most mainstream should probably stop looking at this item now and go and replay their favourite albums instead. However, if you are open minded for something different from Sting (and let's face it, the last few albums have all been "something different" and I would forgive anyone...
Published 11 months ago by A. Sweeney
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
I've been a massive Sting fan for years and used to eagerly await his new work. Sadly, in my opinion, the quality of his albums has diminished since Ten Summoner's Tales in the early 90s. Mercury Falling was a great album but not quite as good as TST. Brand New Day was great in places but the production of Kipper with his modern dance beats and over the top production...
Published 12 months ago by Mr. C. R. Walker
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sting's the last ship,
This is going to be a huge hit when it arrives on broadway. Full of poignant ballads and echoes of the Soul Cages. I haven't stopped listening!
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome Back Sting!,
I have been a Sting fan since the very early 1980s. And like many here I have been listening to his music and buying his CDs for over 30 years now (I even had the chance to meet him, chat briefly, and shake his hand in a hotel we were both staying at for Live Aid in July of 1985 -- he was polite, gave me his autograph, but not much more. Still it was almost unbelievable because on that weekend I met about a third of the major performers at Live Aid who were at the same hotel -- including U2 -- the nicest group of the bunch!).
I have just about every project Sting worked on after 1980 and he was one of my favourite 2 artists through the next decades. After 2003's "Sacred Love" I was so disappointed, I felt like part of my youth had died. It then seemed to me he suffered from writer's block -- creating works with other people's music again and again. I backed out at that point... however, after listening to "If On A Winter's Night" again and again and again (even during the summer) I became a fan again. And I have to say that after only six listens to the Super Deluxe version of "The Last Ship" I am a happy fan again.
I admit that I don't think it is his best album (my vote on that goes -- hands down -- to "Soul Cages"). But I created a play list with my favourite 10 tracks from the Super Deluxe Edition of The Last Ship and it is certainly a very strong offering. To me, after a few listens it is in the same league as the solid "Nothing Like the Sun", which I didn't fall in love with after only one listen either. "The Last Ship" beats "Ten Summoner's Tales" in many ways, except that it lacks a track which is as strong as "Fields of Gold" -- however, the song "The Last Ship" is a tremendous outing for Sting's lyrical and musical abilities, as well as the melancholy "So To Speak". And "Practical Arrangement" is so strong that it almost moves me to tears (finding myself in a similar situation right now). So, it offers even the emotional spectrum to me that Sting has offered in his better albums for 30 years -- and why I went back again and again and again.
So, from me, Sting -- welcome back to my musical collection! I will have to pull out "If On A Winter's Night" and will even consider picking up "Song's From the Labyrinth" to explore this maturer side of Sting. I just wish he would have never released "Sacred Love" as my scars are still healing from that. But this album has gone a long way to healing the wounds. Like I said, if you buy the deluxe edition and create a play list your own 10 favourite tracks you will come close to having a great Sting album here nearly as strong as any but the Soul Cages.
2.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye Sting.. hello Gordon!,
The low score is not because this isn't a proficient album. It is because of my disappointment of having hoped that Sting would finally once again produce something that we had all known and grown to love over the decades. For ten years I had looked forward to a time when we would finally get what Sting is famous for and not another collection of lutes and mandolins.. alas! What we have here is a mixture of rhymes put to an assortment of violins and acoustic instruments. I dare say that somewhere in there may have crept an electric bass or guitar but if so, they are hardly distinguishable and certainly not enough to elevate it from the ranks of folk music, not that there is anything wrong with folk music when you are expecting it. If you can imagine an album that has been built around a baseline of themes from the Titanic and The Pogues, Fairytale of New York, you will get the idea. Sure, there are fleeting moments of Soul Cages elements and as you will read in the cover note, Sting has alluded to this. Sadly however, TLS does not come close to the richness and solidity of Soul Cages. I cannot say the songs are that clever either. I read once that Sting took up the bass because he loved the sound it made. It is clear Sting has also grown to love the sound of many instruments, particularly the Spanish guitar. As a songwriter myself, I know how easy it is to pick up an instrument and become enchanted with some really simple chord progressions. Unfortunately it takes a good deal more to make a good song other than throwing in a some heart felt lyrics from a preconceived story line. Yet you cannot help thinking this is what has been done. Like I said, to some this will be a very proficient album except that Gordon/Sting MKII has put it together and unleashed it upon the world along the well trod red carpet monogrammed 'Sting.. Rock/Pop musician supremo'! To my mind, I don't think I have ever known anyone with the combined ingenuity of composer, instrumentalist, singer, arranger and producer as Mr S. The Last Ship clearly benefits from as fastidious a production as you would expect from him too. But, if you are looking for a return to what made Sting Sting... you can forget it! I seriously suggest that maybe Sting should take McCartney's Firemen lead in that if he is going to produce something so divorced from what people expect and want from him, rebrand! Like I said.. hello Gordon. Oh and ps, I wont even mention the pretentious theatrical dialect.... whoops, too late! He would have done better to leave all the singing to Jimmy Nail who may have lended a true theatrical performance to what is clearly an emotive subject in Sting's heart. I still love the real Sting and am grateful for everything we used to know him for. As usual with Sting I bought the all singing all dancing super duper Amazon deluxe version. In my view it was a mistake to release anything other than the basic album upon which the best songs are contained and I suggest anyone contemplating the purchase do just this.
4.0 out of 5 stars Different,
This review is from: The Last Ship (Standard) (MP3 Download)
Being from Tyneside and no longer living there ,this brings back the history of the shipbuilding heriatage of the area which I remember when I was young.The album will not be to everyone's tastes but I like it.
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent,
This review is from: The Last Ship (Super Deluxe) (MP3 Download)
I saw Sting on TV talking about his 'play with music', the musical based around the Tyneside shipyards where he grew up. As a Glaswegian, many of my friends worked in the Clydeside shipyards and as it interested me, I bought the download on spec and do not regret it.
Superb from start to finish, I'm playing it all the time and the cameo performances by Jimmy Nail and Brian Johnson are also excellent and help make this as good as it is. A history lesson as well as a well crafted story, all thread through the songs. Can't wait to see it on stage!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected,
When I read that Sting had written this as a musical I didn't know what to expect and was very pleased with what he'd produced.
The music has a "borders" feel with pipes and acoustic sound, refreshingly different to the set on his current world tour
3.0 out of 5 stars Will time make 4 stars,
It's not Sting's best, and certainly not his worst. At this early stage it is 3.5 stars whether it grows to 4 remains to be heard.
Very pleasant listening with most tracks flowing through a nice storyline from the NE England. Worth listening to with the lyrics and at £5 there is little to lose
5.0 out of 5 stars We listen to it a lot whilst eating out in the garden as we have developers close by building houses and this is one of the few,
Superb, real emotion. We listen to it a lot whilst eating out in the garden as we have developers close by building houses and this is one of the few CDs which you can listen to with that sort of background noise - really sounds like you could be in the shipyard.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hoisty, roisty, feisty and folksy,
We've waited about 10 years for a new Gordon Sumner album, and my copy of The Last Ship came down the ether at just after midnight giving me access to a first listen via Amazon Cloud before the hard copy arrives (apparently) later on today. I chose the Amazon Exclusive Super Deluxe Edition - rather OTT but there you go - because the CD is a present for a friend, and it's nice to get an MP3 version myself so that I can avoid the embarrassment of asking him if I can borrow it...
So what's it like? Well - good to great in places, and rather annoying in others - the annoying bit mainly being when he puts on this rather manufactured Geordie accent which sounds more of a mix of Scouser and Irish to me; it's plain that he wanted to create the atmosphere of the Tyneside shipping yards of days gone by, but it just doesn't sound like the Sting I thought I knew. Thankfully not all of the songs are sung in that rollicking lilt, I prefer the songs that he sings in his more familiar accent and style.
The standard album gives you 12 tracks and the mega-incredible-super-deluxe version I have adds 8 more so I suppose you get roughly equal value for money. Having listened to all 20 songs I felt as if the album needed that number to compensate for the half-dozen or more songs that I just didn't care for, and the result is that I reckon I have about 10 that I do like. It's perhaps worth mentioning (me being a parent) that one of the songs - Jock the Singing Welder, which is only on the Deluxe version - does include some very strong language even if it's meant to amuse and is in fairness in keeping with the nature of the song.
The first track (and the title song) sets the tone for the album as a whole, and is a curious mixture of Sting singing semi-normally together with that slightly curious accent that paints pictures of a bygone era. It's followed by Dead Man's Boots, which is clearly a snippet of Sting's own past and in particular his relationship with his late father. I haven't read his autobiography but it's not hard to see (well, hear) that he didn't get on with his dad that well, and wanted a very different life from the one his father bestowed him. He certainly achieved that, needless to add. Track Three - And Yet - thankfully reverts to more familiar form in terms of lyrics and how they are delivered. By now I was feeling a little more hopeful that the album as a whole would work for me. It's still a vaguely autobiographical piece, but it's not quite so self-centred. By the time I was into August Winds, the fourth track, I was thinking and hoping that the accent-heavy stuff was beginning to fade away, but it was still there - unconvincingly as before.
I like Practical Arrangement, track five, which is an appeal to live with a woman and her son - a woman who doesn't yet love him but might 'given time'. It's the first of the tracks that demonstrates the sound of Sting that most of us are familiar with, and has little in the way of introspection or association with the shipyards. It's followed up by a catchy little song The Night the Pugilist Learned How to Dance. And then it's a song about Isambard Brunel called Ballad of the Great Eastern - partly sung and partly spoken. Not for me, that one. Jimmy Nail then features on the ninth song What Have We Got? which is all folksy and lively, best performed live I would have thought and for those who have an attachment of some kind to the part of the world that 'has nowt and has got nowt else'.
I also like I Love Her But She Loves Someone Else, track ten, it has some of the best lyrics and occasionally repeats some of the lines in Practical Arrangement. It's a far better song to listen to alone than some of the others which seem slightly out of place. This one is much more like 'the real Sting' I remember. I just wish it was longer than the 3:41 minutes than it is.
So To Speak, track eleven, reverts to strong localised accent and seems to speak of a man in serious ill health, probably dying of cancer. It features a cameo by Becky Unthank whose Geordie accent is far more natural and authentic than Sting's. The 12th and final track (on the basic album) is a reprise of The Last Ship, which isn't a favourite for me.
The bonus CD of 8 more tracks includes more folksy stuff featuring Jimmy Nail, Brian Johnson and Jo Lawry which I'm not keen on. But there are more familiar Sting-like songs such as It's Not The Same Moon but also a song by Rachel Unthank (Becky's sister) and I have to say that these two female singers seem to much more convincingly portray the images and sounds of northern shipyard family life, compared to Sting that is.
So there's a lot of nostalgia in this collection of songs, nostalgia that inevitably will mean more to some and virtually nothing to a lot of others, myself included. The folksy style of many songs will be a surprise to anyone who hasn't listened to Sting for a decade or three, and it's a million miles away from The Police, that's for sure. But he's over 60 years old now, and while I personally think he's still 'got it' and more than capable of delivering thoughtful and beautifully produced songs, in The Last Ship Sting has tried - not altogether successfully - to catch the mood of a time and place that will not appeal to as wide an audience than he has been used to in times past. It's an album that I feel he has created for himself more than his audience, and while he seems to be very pleased with the result, I feel that he could have done better. What's good is good enough however, and the number of likeable songs is just about enough to constitute an album that I will play again - in parts.
The hard copy CD did arrive on the promised date, via Amazon Prime. Ordered late on Saturday 21st, arrived Monday 23rd around mid-day
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars,
This review is from: The Last Ship [Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
I WAS BORN NEAR A SHIPYARD THIS CD IS FANTASTIC
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