The Soul Cages

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Emboldened by the enthusiastic response to the muted Nothing Like the Sun and reeling from the loss of his parents, Sting constructed The Soul Cages as a hushed mediation on mortality, loss, grief, and father/son relationships the album is dedicated, in part, to his father; its predecessor was dedicated to his mother. Using the same basic band as Nothing Like the Sun, the album has the same supple, luxurious tone, stretching out leisurely over nine tracks, almost all of them layered mid-tempo tunes the exception being grinding guitars of the title track. Within this setting, Sting hits a few remarkable peaks, such as the elegant waltz "Mad About You" and "All ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Emboldened by the enthusiastic response to the muted Nothing Like the Sun and reeling from the loss of his parents, Sting constructed The Soul Cages as a hushed mediation on mortality, loss, grief, and father/son relationships the album is dedicated, in part, to his father; its predecessor was dedicated to his mother. Using the same basic band as Nothing Like the Sun, the album has the same supple, luxurious tone, stretching out leisurely over nine tracks, almost all of them layered mid-tempo tunes the exception being grinding guitars of the title track. Within this setting, Sting hits a few remarkable peaks, such as the elegant waltz "Mad About You" and "All This Time," a deceptively skipping pop tune that hides a moving tribute to his father. If the entirety of The Soul Cages was as nimbly melodic and urgently emotional as these two cuts, it would have been a quiet masterpiece. Instead, it turns inward -- not just lyrically, but musically -- and plays as a diary entry, perhaps interesting to those willing to spend hours immersing themselves within Sting's loss, finding parallels within their own life. This may be too much effort for anyone outside of the devoted, since apart from those two singles and perhaps "Why Should I Cry for You", there are few entry points into The Soul Cages -- and, once you get in there, it only rewards if your emotional state mirrors Sting's.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/2/1991
  • Label: A&M
  • UPC: 075021640528
  • Catalog Number: 6405
  • Sales rank: 5,321

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sting Primary Artist, Synthesizer, Bass, Mandolin, Vocals, Synclavier
Kathryn Tickell Pipe
Kenny Kirkland Drums, Keyboards
David Sancious Keyboards
Bill Summers Percussion
Tony Vacca Percussion
Vinx Percussion
Skip Burney Percussion
Ray Cooper Percussion
Munyungo Jackson Percussion
Manu Katché Drums
Branford Marsalis Saxophone
Dominic Miller Guitar
Paola Paparelle Oboe
Technical Credits
Sting Producer
Hugh Padgham Producer, Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The difference maker

    When this CD was released in 1991, I was not pleased with its content, maybe because it is mirky and sullen at points, and at the time I was looking for Sting to maintain the high energy kind of bright compositions that characterized much of his earlier work. Recently, however, after hearing "All This Time" on a compilation of his best hits, I was prompted to go back to the album and re-examine my first impressions. Listening again, I discovered a gem that I had originally failed to appreciate. Although these songs are admittedly dark and mysterious, taken together- and that's how they should be considered- they comprise a poetic, autobiographical allegory. Somber and even heavy in mood (though at times a bit lighter), they contain a substantive depth which simply requires more time and attention to digest. Yet, within the layers of sound and imagery lies a visceral message- the title tune, "Soul Cages" with its haunting metaphors; "I'm Mad About You," which is as much a lament as a dedication; "All This Time," a personal retrospective of Newcastle lyrically spun through lines like "Teacher told us, the Romans built this place. . . ." With a value of its own, it's clear to me now that this album also stands as the critical artistic bridge from Sting's Police-esque song writing to his more mature efforts in "Ten Summoner's Tales." "Nothing Like the Sun" began a new direction, but then came a three-year lull in which Sting battled his writer's block. In "Cages" he returned to the true path, along the way incorporating some unorthodox devices (uncommon instrumentation, odd time signatures) and developing a more sophisticated story-telling knack. To put it another way: had there been no "Soul Cages," there would have been no "Ten Summoner's Tales." He needed to work through this musical catharsis in order to reach the next level. It therefore represents a watershed in his originality. Whether you listen to it for that reason or not, with a blemish or two the Soul Cages will nonetheless ultimately move you. It just may take a few playings [or years] to do so.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Concentrated Sting

    Sting fans are Sting fans because of songs like the ones here on The Soul Cages. Almost every song is top-calibre. Emotionally and intellectually engaging like U2's The Joshua Tree. By far my favorite Sting Album. I just wish he made more albums that were so tightly packed with this kind of quality.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of His Best

    Can't agree with Itotis's review. Soul Cages represents Sting at his best. Pensive, thoughtfull and low-key this albumn is filled with moody melodies that haunt the listener. This album may be a departure from the normal Sting, but it shines as his best ever.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews