ALBUM : 57TH AND 9TH
ARTIST : STING
GENRE : ROCK/ POP
Date Released : 2016
For a veteran and legacy act, it is quite surprising that Sting is still singing about can’t stop thinking and wanting someone. Thus, one might asked if Sting has desired to be a reboot boy band in this album as the song “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” sounds like a One Direction track.
Watch “I Can’t Stop Thinking About” session in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtEIuz71tEk.
I guess, Sting just wanted to venture into familiar territories thus, he sang “rock stars don’t die, they just fade away” in “50,000 which is a song paying homage to rock legends who died such as Prince, Bowie, and Glenn Frey. The track lyrics are as trite as old rock and roll song.
Watch live performance of “50,000” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVNzz3iW-pA.
For the first time in years, Sting has a very pop song; one that invites listeners to request on their favorite radio station. Perhaps, I can say that ‘One Fine Day” is their own version of feeling positive just like Pet Shop Boys did on their “Beautiful People track. In this album, Sting still living in the past as he still sings about a love being taken away just like the theme of his old song “They Dance Alone.” In “Pretty Young Soldier,” this time he sang about a soldier being taken away to go to war.
Watch live performance of “Pretty Young Soldier” on this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py8unvbWojc.
On the other hand, Sting just wants to relax and sing songs that are car commercial friendly and you can hear his relaxing mode in ‘Petrol Head.” Relax and he did as venture into another familiar territory in the track ‘Heading South On The Great North Road.” The song can be mistaken as a track in his album THE DREAM OF BLUE TURTLES as the song is as poetic as the songs in this album. You can still say that there is still good old Sting in this record with “If You Can’t Love Me;” composing love songs with Bjork like musical structure. The whole vibe of this song is like listening to your favorite Van Morrison classic song.
Watch live performance of “If You Can’t Love Me” on this linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVNzz3iW-pA.
Of course, a Sting album is not complete if there is no song that has political flavor. In the track “Inshallah,” from the lyrics alone, you might believe that he is singing about Syrian refugees. Perhaps, it is lyrics like
As the wind blows, growing colder,
Against the sad boats, as we flee,
Anxious eyes, search in darkness,
With the rising of the sea.
will make you think as such. The musical element of this track reminds you of his Arabian or Moroccan flavored track “Desert Rose.”
Watch fan-made video of “Inshallah” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMoWyWIF12g.
The album title refers to the intersection where he frequents when he went to the studio recording this album; the studio is called Hell’s Kitchen. Perhaps, this intersection made him mellowed as many of the songs in this album are like recollecting his musical past. The good about his tripping on memory lane is that his artistry was never compromised and the intelligent lyrics are still here. I rate this record 3.5 stars.
Best tracks are “One Fine Day,” “Petrol Head,” “50,000,” “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You(the second version)” and “Down Down Down.”
1 stars = Ignore it
2 stars = risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 stars = buy, keep, and treasure it