A rich mix of musical styles, plus a 2005 live DVD...
Sometimes being the leader of the biggest band on the planet isn't enough, and the artists formerly known as Gordon Sumner has previously spoken about how he was frustrated by the musical limitations of The Police. Indeed, since embarking on a solo career a quarter of a century ago, Sting has avidly pursued a resless, occasionally schizophrenic path, as this bos set testifies.
The easy shorthand suggests Sting had designs on becoming a jazz artist, and that's borne out by his earlier albums on tracks such as 'Moon Over Bourbon Street' or 'We'll Be Together' (not to mention his live re-workings of his old band's 'Bring On The Night' and 'Driven To Tears'). But listen more carefully to the elaborate musical tapestry of 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You' or 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free' - probably two of the most complex songs to scale the singles chart.
Even his more idiosyncratic projects have been presented with persuasive accessibility (a couple of songs from 2009's traditional Christmas album make the cut, though sadly nothing from his lute album three years earlier!). What's never been in doubt is Sting's abaility to conjure up a heart-stopping emotional anthem, such as the truly beautiful 'Fields of Gold' or the tender poetry of 'When We Dance'.
(c) Record Collector by Terry Staunton