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Customer Review

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Message in a Box Set, 25 Oct. 2011
This review is from: 25 Years (Audio CD)
As the reviews to this, the most deluxe choice in the variations of 25 Years that can be bought in the run-up to Christmas, show, you should never let a person's reputation get mixed up with their record company's imperative to milk the back catalogue for all its worth. You can virtually see the Sting "people" sitting in a smoke-filled room debating the merits of global warming and just how much timber they're putting into these additions of admittedly yet another version of the man's Greatest Hits package, with a mischievousness that they just know is going to push the buttons of certain people. Given that Sting's name automatically throws up particular topics, it's slightly surprising that someone hasn't brought up "tantric sex" yet, but there's time. This view of Pantomime Sting, as the virulent reactions to a recent profile in The Guardian suggesting he was almost a decent bloke demonstrate, is something not easily broken by parts of a disgruntled public who always thought the former Police-man was too smart for his own good. But listen closely and you'll hear the sound of a slight rehabilitation coming over the horizon. The Word magazine recently described him as the "Damon Albarn you're not allowed to like" and if you take away the alleged environmental credentials, sexual prowess with Trudie, and occasionally dubious politics, you're left with a set of songs over his solo career that are wildly different, often inventive, and which use jazz, soul, reggae, African beats, disco, rap and rock all merged into a sometimes effortlessly constructed pop sheen. But like Coldplay currently, U2 recently, and Simply Red for most of their career, liking Sting comes with a price. If you've never cared for the media's puffed-up pronouncements and want your music illuminated by thought, sophistication and 1001 influences then you've found your man. Yes it's true if you're already a fan then the standard one-disc version of 25 Years is unlikely to be for you and you've probably already been there with the earlier Fields of Gold collection. But if you're a casual watcher and possibly even more committed than that, the multiple disc versions reveal hidden gems (The Pirate's Bride, originally a `B' Side), passable imitations (a version of A Day in the Life), and a host of songs that really should have been bigger hits than they were (Fragile, Mad About You, Shape of my Heart etc). That rehabilitation deserves to get a move on and who knows, it only takes one of those "talented" X-Factor people to do a cover of one of these songs, and he'll be all over the charts again like a rash. Expensive but exquisite.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Nov 2011, 23:45:20 GMT
Eric Generic says:
There is a brilliant Sting Boxset lurking in his (very) underrated solo catalogue (sea shanties an' all) - but this doesn't seem to be it, frustratingly. I'm glad, though, that the utterly pointless "Best Of 25 Years" turns out to be just a sampler/redux of a larger project, even if that larger project is overpriced and can't add up from 1985 to 2011!
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