You know what I love about Wordsmiths? Everything. You know what I love about Sting being a Wordsmith?
Effect without a cause indeed. This is his newest album. I got it today when I went to pick up my meds. (And I was a good girl and didn't buy the COMPLETE Buck Rogers for 15.00) I know that a lot of people get pissy with him when he tries to reinvent his own music. The thing of it is that art is about having an open mind. And if you aren't going to have an open mind you really can't criticize.Well you can, but its not fair. In this case if you don't like symphonic music the fact that it is Sting isn't going to help anything. In my case, I love symphonic music. I love Sting. There is nothing to dislike about this offering.
The CD comes in a paper folder with muted blocks of Synchronicity's signature colors. One would think that a jewel case would be a safer storage unit than a heavy card stock folder; but you've never seen me mutilate a jewel case. The song list is not what I expected. I don't think that anyone has ever redone "Next to You". It was spectacular! There are songs from his contribution to the shanty collection that came out with the Pirates of the Caribbean. Roxanne and Every Little Thing show up. Do they HAVE to? Or does he know that we WANT them to? And that is just how awesome the wrapping paper is. The real present is inside.
The liner notes are written, not by Sting, but by Anthony DeCurtis. I know that I can't write about this any better than he does. I just want to offer my own observations. The thing that I like about these classical interpretations, be it Sting or Paul McCartney, is that the adaptations will let them perform at their best as they get older and their voices change. For a change I can hear all of the words, all of the nuances in his voice. The more control he has in his voice, the more mature his performances the more you want to hear clean musical interpretations. I've noticed, over the last few albums, that he doesn't have to strain himself vocally. That happens to rockers as they get older.
The music is symphonic to be sure. Four different orchestras perform on the album. And frankly, if this is what I missed in Chicago last year cause I didn't have 4000.00 then I dang well better get rich quick! But if you listen closely to 10 Summoner's Tales, Soul Cages, Sacred Love and Labyrinth then you will notice that the orchestral or symphonic quality has always been a part of Sting's style. Even when Every Little Thing was fresh and played ad nauseum on the radio you could hear where the symphony belonged. This isn't really a stretch so much as a graceful extension of who he already is.
Admittedly I get a little tired of Roxanne showing up everywhere. But I heard his acoustic jazzy version when we still had a light jazz station in town and really liked how fresh the song was. I like this version even more. Somehow Roxanne's persona changes a little with the strings and the piano. The cello makes her seem sad and sympathetic all at once where she used to be a forgotten poster child. It seems she is older and sadder for want of a different life and the imagination to make it better. True, mentally I tend to dress her more like a Bronte anti-heroine than a West End prostitute as was the costume in the 80s. Now she seems like someone who spent the grandest part of her years as a mistress with nothing to signify her loyalty and affection. The Lord is dead, her skills are useless and there is no where to go with out the imagination to reinvent herself. More haunting than ever, I love this song more than I ever have before.
I love that you can still sing along with these songs. The orchestras will never make me sound better. But at least there is more of his voice to drown me out for the sake of my accidental audiences.