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This review is from: Sacred Love [HYBRID SACD] (Audio CD)
Following Sting's 1999 release Brand New Day, I'm sure the vultures were waiting to swoop at news of a new release. Whilst Brand New Day had been somewhat more crafted than the disappointing Mercury Falling, it had once again teetered precariously on the brink of mediocrity and suggested that any continuance in the same direction could prove insipid and pedestrian. Matters were not helped by the somewhat saccharine title of Sacred Love, and I too - removed from any advance snippets - was wary upon purchasing.
What has emerged however is a wonderfully rejuvenated Sting, pushing new boundaries and throwing a bucket of chilled brilliance over his waning fan base. The album ebbs and flows in pace and captivates completely, providing a rare reminder that artists who remain important in the 21st Century do not have to be sober and serious. I'm sure this SACD edition provides an extra bonus for surround sound listeners, but seems non-essential if you have a half decent system.
The opening three tracks (Inside, Send Your Love and Whenever I Say Your Name) remind us that Sting is a man with an exceptional talent for constructing songs with depth and heart, and whilst it wains in places, the overall effect of Sacred Love is one of classy diversity. Sting's passion for global peace and love are still apparent, but whilst often unfairly criticised for his political stances, we see here that there is no greater power than those of words and music, when crafted so skilfully. With the evidence of this recording, a line in the sand has been drawn and, by stepping boldly over it, the future will lead us into a new and recently lost world of Stingness.