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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 1 December 2013
I have a certain partiality to Geordie accent, stories and locality. That's why I moved up here from London. I also spent some time working in a dockyard in Wallsend where Sting was born and brought up. So this CD was especially interesting to me. I particularly liked the songs "What Have We Got", "The Language of Birds" and "So To Speak" being very evocative of the area. And the title song "The Last Ship" especially so as I got to see the streets of Wallsend that back onto where the Swan Hunter ship building yards were and to relate to the idea of the ship gradually growing and blocking out the sunshine on the streets until it was launched and the street would be flooded with light and sunshine again!

Even if you have no affinity with Newcastle, you'll love this cd. I guarantee it!
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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 for losing patience with Mr. Sumner) and have a liking for either folk or theatrical music, then you may find much to please you here. "The Last Ship", for me, is the best piece of work that Sting has released for a couple of decades. It is very much a concept album, based on the Tyneside shipbuilding industry and the characters who populated it. Musically, it's generally quite a gentle album, but exceedingly rich with melody, interesting arrangements and instrumentation. Lyrically, it's outstanding; each track is musical storytelling at its finest and it's intelligent enough to give the listener food for thought yet accessible enough to recognise and empathise with the songs that tug at the emotional heartstrings for differing reasons.

Nearly everything on "The Last Ship" is superb and there are only one or two tracks which took me a few listens to be convinced of their charm. Nearly everything else was almost instantly likeable and my love for these eclectic collection of songs grew each time I listened to the album. There are many songs here that I would count amongst my personal favourites. "Practical Arrangement", for example, is probably the best song that Sting has written for many years. The powerfully emotive title track is superb (as well as the reprise), "August Winds" has a beautiful subtlety and "Ballad Of The Great Eastern" is folk storytelling par excellence. "I Love Her But She Loves Someone Else" is absolutely gorgeous and Sting is in particularly fine voice on this track, but it has to be said that he gives an absolutely excellent performance on each very different track. The special guests (Jimmy Nail, Brian Johnson, Jo Lawry and Becky Unthank) also work very well indeed on their respective songs and give the album the characteristic of having a rather versatile supporting cast of players.

I admit that this isn't going to be for everybody and it's the kind of work that polarises the listener - it's probably going to be either a love or hate reaction when you hear it. For me, it's a very genuine love for this heartfelt tribute to Sting's native North-East of England. I bought the deluxe version of the album which, for a little extra money, gets you an additional CD with eight more tracks, some of them different versions of songs from the album featuring other artists, some of them completely new songs; all of them are excellent (well, "Jock The Singing Welder" perhaps isn't quite as good as the others, maybe the only "ouch" moment on both discs) and are well worth the higher price you pay for the second disc. All-in-all, this is one of the most remarkable albums I have heard all year and I admire Sting greatly for having the courage to write and release something as different and unconventional as this; even if this isn't quite to your taste, it is difficult to ignore the creativity and artistry behind this project. It could have easily backfired and given his critics further ammunition, but I'm of the opinion that this is actually one of the best things he has ever put his name to and is certainly my favourite Sting album since the underrated "Mercury Falling" from way back in 1996.
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on 11 May 2017
This is classic Sting jazziness mixed with bawdy sea shanties, constructed to tell the story of the decline of the great North East shipbuilding industry. I bought my own copy some time ago and loved it so much, I bought a new copy to give to a friend who is going through some hard times. This touching collection of musical stories is just the thing to put your own life in perspective. And you gotta love the Geordie accent!
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on 4 April 2017
The first seven tracks on this album are great,Especially 'The Last Ship','Dead Man`s Boots','And Yet' & 'The Night The Pugilist Learned How To Dance'(that`s STING clever),The next six are so-so.In his autobiography STING wrote how he wanted to lose his Gordie accent well that came back to haunt him as on here when he attempts to sound like a Gordie you`ve gotta laugh,(thankfully it doesn`t happen much)....
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on 2 February 2017
This is Sting's best album. Proof that when you write about what you know, the results are exemplary. I love every single track.
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on 26 July 2017
A side of Sting you didn't think existed. I watched it on YouTube and then bought the DVD and the CD for my personal player. I think that the music show and the play would probably have and would be better received in Newcastle. You never know someone (Jimmy) may twist his arm for one or the other. ;-)
The Last Ship
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on 27 April 2017
I saw this music on TV and it was great, so looked out for it on Amazon. Great!
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on 26 January 2017
Excellent. We saw the stage show, one of the few sadly, and this brings back brilliant memories. Music great, lyrics wonderful and unusual departure for Sting but magnificently successful.
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on 29 May 2017
Another completely different album from Sting. Love the songs.
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on 7 April 2017
very pleased with it
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