Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
Never mind the bollxcs
on 30 December 2009
I heard this album and was pleasantly surprised. In fact it's really good if you like folky, wintry, largely melancholy music. However having seen the BBC2 programme about it the other night I can't help thinking it's not as good as Sting clearly thinks it is. I'd heard that he's a bit `up himself' but blimey! In fact ... and this surprised me ... it rather put me off.
It seems that:-
a) He got a bunch of really good musicians together (like most `solo' artists do)
b) Found a load of lovely old songs (like most folk artists do, because it's ... er ... what folk music is)
c) Rehearsed and recorded them in his own house (like many musicians do these days, because modern technology allows this and in many cases, because it's cheaper ... not that it's a concern for Sting, you understand.)
But Sting does all this and somehow it's ground-breaking and brilliant and ... get this ... oh so `organic'. Other insights included that rock musicians play differently from folk musicians who play differently from classical musicians. Well heavens, Mr Sting, that is a surprise.
What this is, is a really nice collection of songs, well played and well sung, and left at that it's really very good. But the fact that 30 or so musicians from all over the world had to come and pitch in at his house in Tuscany does rather detract from the warm, cosy, intimate English feel of the actual music and for me rather spoils it. Like knowing that a favourite band is actually a bunch of session musicians directed by some shipped-in American producer (yes - we have one of those too ... one who came over as such a tosser on the TV that several of the musicians felt it necessary to make excuses for him), it detracts from the experience rather than enhances it.
I'd suggest that you get this and enjoy it, but avoid any TV programmes about it!
4 stars for the music, 1 star for all the rest of it.