Sting Bounces Back with New Album “The Bridge”

Written by on November 23, 2021

After over 4 years without new material, Sting has returned with an album full of brand new songs. 

Even if Sting never released music again for the rest of his life,  he would still be in a pretty good place. He has a residency in Las Vegas; his catalogue of songs is set to sell for over $250 Million. At 70-years old, he’s still actively pursuing yoga, swimming, and other hobbies.

It was a nice surprise then to see that the songwriting veteran had yet again released new material last Friday: his 15th studio album The Bridge. 

How did it land?

Tracklist:

  1. Rushing Water
  2. If It’s Love
  3. The Book of Numbers
  4. Loving You
  5. Harmony Road
  6. For Her Love
  7. The Hills on the Border
  8. Captain Bateman
  9. The Bells of St. Thomas
  10. The Bridge
  11. Waters of Tyne
  12. Captain Bateman’s Basement
  13. (Sittin on) The Dock of the Bay

 

This isn’t his strongest album but it is a comforting one. In an age where pop music producers too often smooth out voices and mix artists universally, it was nice to hear a familiar, distinguishable voice singing some catchy tunes. Here Sting returns to a few of his songwriting tropes: love, the sea, divine searching, and of course, wandering. Up until about halfway through the album, Sting’s The Bridge is just good pop music.

Where he lost me a little bit is around the vicinity of The Hills on the Border. Without warning, the next half of the album switches gears to more of a folk-inspired style. There is a lot more natural instrumentation: reverb-laden acoustic guitar, some violin. Even Sting’s Geordie accent shines through a little bit more in the tracks of the second half – especially in songs like Waters of Tyne.

This style comes naturally to Sting, but it’s a little confusing in the context of this particular album. Earlier songs were setting up a pop album. The narrator switches from an anonymous author writing about common experiences, to the story about a boating captain. One isn’t sure if the songs following Captain Bateman are switching back to common experiences, and where some of the song’s other characters come into play again – if at all. They’re a good batch of songs that seem to be placed in a little bit of the wrong album; Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay after the moody Captain Bateman’s Basement is a little jarring.

I think any Sting fan would enjoy listening to his newest album The Bridge. It’s not going in my physical CD collection, however, most of the tracks have something to chew on musically –  even if it’s not the strongest flavor of what Sting can be capable of.

3/5 Stars

-Adela

Adela’s Favorite Tracks

 

 

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