Sacred Loveby Sting
A Brand New Day was the title of Sting's last studio album, but it's on Sacred Love, four years later, that he stumbles out of bed to confront the cold light of a world very much changed. Fortunately, Sting wakes up sounding so energized, you can practically see him doing jumping jacks. The vital Sacred Love, recorded amid the rumblings of the war in Iraq, is suffused with the paranoia and anger of our post-9/11 world but also with joy, sex, and resolve. The album's title suggests Sting's solution to the messy state of our world: More passion and compassion, in all its forms, love at its most courageous. From the opening track, "Inside," a rejuvenated Sting is eager to smash through ignorance and fear. Awakened from an atrophied, alienated state, he's hungry for connection: Love is an explosion, an annihilation, a violent star, an angry scar. On song after song, love and faith are intertwined, as they are in the fiery ballad "Whenever I Say Your Name," in which the Englishman is yanked forcibly out of his stiff posture by Mary J. Blige: "Whenever I say your name, I'm already praying." To be sure, Sacred Love shares some cosmetic similarity to its studio predecessor -- Eastern instrumentation on "The Book of My Life," another car commercial in waiting in "Stolen Car (Take Me Out Dancing)." But this bristling effort is far from blasé adult contemporary pop. The beats are stark and funky, and Sting's singing is at its most immediate since his days with the Police. Two overtly political songs -- the vicious "This War," taking both Blair and Bush to task at the same time, and the more refined "Forget About the Future," which casts warring countries as battling spouses -- and a dark, insistent trance remix of "Send Your Love" join tracks lit up by gospel choirs and fiery jazz solos. Ensconced in his Tuscan villa, perfecting his yoga positions, Sting hasn't been this relevant in a long time -- Sacred Love is a welcome return.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsSting Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Turkish Clarinet
Ada Dyer Background Vocals
Jason Rebello Piano,fender rhodes
Lance Ellington Background Vocals
Katreese Barnes Background Vocals
Mary J. Blige Vocals
Chris Botti Trumpet
Choir of Radio France Vocals
Vinnie Colaiuta Drums
Clark Gayton Trombone
Manu Katché Drums
Larry Knechtel Keyboards,Vocals
Christian McBride Double Bass
Dominic Miller Guitar
Jacqueline Thomas Cello
Vicente Amigo Flamenco Guitar
Donna Gardier Background Vocals
David Hartley Piano
Anoushka Shankar Sitar
Joy Rose Vocals,Background Vocals
Jeff Scott Young Hammond Organ
Aref Durvesh Tabla
Valerie Denys Castanets
Rhani Krija Percussion
Danny Dunlap Bass Guitar
Technical CreditsSting Composer,Producer
Billy Francis Logistics,Tour Manager
Larry Knechtel Programming,Producer
Donal Hodgson Programming
Simon Osborne Engineer
David Hartley Choir Arrangement
Dave Audé Producer,Remixing
Victor Calderone Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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A staunch Sting devotee and defender,I eagerly anticipated this album. Brand New Day appeared to rekindle his adventurous, innovative spirit, and while ALL THIS TIME was a sensitive re-arrangement of old favorites, it beckoned a new departure once again. Instead, Sacred Love is merely a series of melody-less, mindless ramblings that hardly stir the ear. The playing and production are superb, but the writing is lethargic and stale, compounded (confounded) by a blitzkrieg of lyrics in a seeming attempt to fill the musical gaps, perhaps revealing a literary hangover from completing his memoirs. There was a time in the not too distant past when he was able to command a measured phrase, both musical and lyrical. Professing to be content, he exclaims that he no longer requires suffering to propel his art. In the wake of this empty effort, however, it would seem that he could stand to be a lot less content. His genius needs some pain.
SAD This is such a poor effort I find it difficult to devote many words to it. Sting either didn't care to try very hard or he simply has run out of ideas- maybe a little of both. In the absence of any evident inspiration he's just allowed the music to sit idle, stuck in rhythm grooves. In the place of biting or substantive lyrics, he's substituted an ocean of words that bore the listener to death. What happened to the innovative composer, the witty story teller? Is this the same guy who wrote and played "Roxanne"? Even later work like that found on Brand New Day reflected a genius and an ability to move us. There's not a hint of that here.
Having been a Sting fan since the early 1980s, I find this release to be his most disappointing to date. This is one release that I can't get into. The music is blah, and the lyrics are vacuous. I'm sure the music is just Sting going in a different direction than my tastes. But: Sting confronts a changed world with little more to offer than hedonism as a life philosophy. Sting is normally more lyrically intelligent and insightful!
I wrote a review of this CD 4 weeks ago which was never posted. It was not profane, but it was critical. Let's try again: a devoted Sting fan, I eagerly anticipated this album's release, especially after All This Time, which contained sensitive re-arrangements of old favorites but beckoned a new departure. Unfortunately, Sacred Love reveals a Sting who has become all-too complacent. There is not very much here that is new or even Stingish! Most of the songs are rambling R & B jams and the preponderance of verbose lyrics are reminiscent of blitzkrieg not eloquence. The playing and production are typically superb, but there are no intriguing melodies, no innovative textures, and no compelling stories (unless Stolen Car, whose chorus sounds like a Madonna mantra, qualifies). Wonderful solos by Jason Rebello spice up the effort, especially on Never Coming Home which, with its driving groove, may be the best of a poor group of selections. As well, the single, Send Your Love, has a haunting and catchy guitar riff, but there's not much more to endear this CD to the listener. His exaltation to love reflects little of the genius, and it appears that the Man simply produces better work when he's suffering or in a crisis. Now satisfied and content, Sting this time chose to take no chances and produced a forgettable little package, hardly up to his usual high standard.
My first impression was a little disapointment.However,I know from past experience with Stings' music that it grows on you in a profound way.So I kept listening.I think this Cd is a creative masterpiece..It has grown into me..Give it a chance.....
Man this is great! Manu and Vinne are back on the block grooving my 'been there done that' attitude right out of my chair. I get out of my chair and dance. I go for walks and smile at anyone who dares to look me in the eye. I love it when an artist can speak politically with out angering everyone. Sting reminds me of the qualities of Sacred Love and makes me say, "Wow, yeah, I dig that!"
All I can say is this new album is Awesome- very addictive! I love it!
Unlike Sting's previous solo albums, the lyrics on Sacred Love are remarkably vacuous and facile. Known for his intelligence and insight, Sting attempts to create a work of art relevant to the post Sept 11 world by shallow, hedonistic lyrics. As a longtime Sting fan, I am disappointed by this release. Except for the song Dead Man's Rope, which is a retelling of the Biblical story of the prodigal son, and actually contains a glimpse of the gospel message. This one song redeems the album, and may expose listeners curious enough to follow up the song lyrics with an exploration of the gospel to a deeper, more satisfying answer to life's deep questions than the album itself presents. Musically, this album is a producer's soup over which bandmembers can sometimes be heard playing. The sound is similar to that of Brand New Day.
A GREAT, great, great CD. Sting, you've done it again, great lyrics, music. Also, why do you need Mary J. Blige when you have JOY ROSE????(as seen on the Today show 10/1)