57th and 9th

[Review] Sting, 57th and 9th

57th and 9th has a gritty, New York-inspired rock edge and reflects Sting’s keen melodic songwriting abilities.

Sting returned recently with his first solo album in three years and his first straightforward pop-rock outing since Sacred Love released in 2003, 57th and 9th (A&M).

In the intervening years, Sting has been very busy. The Last Ship, released in 2013 was the de-facto soundtrack album for his play of the same name, which unfortunately had a very short run on Broadway. He has also recorded several albums of music that draw from classical, holiday and ancient musical influences.

The title of the new album is taken from the address of the recording studio, Avatar Studios, in New York City where the album was recorded. Sting has long had a home in New York, although he also lives in many places around the world. Much of the beginning of the album has a gritty, New York-inspired rock edge and reflects Sting’s keen melodic songwriting abilities. It’s been a long time since Sting has produced an album with music so accessible and which spotlights not only his talent as a musical master, but also his deftness as a lyricist.

There are also flavors of the other styles that Sting has employed in the past including soul and also world music touches. He is also not adverse to recording songs that feature stark acoustic musical accompaniment and subtle and breathy vocals.

While this album may not signify an end for Sting as a solo recording artist, it may at least be one of his last attempts to gain a foothold back in the mainstream.

Check out Sting’s tour dates here.

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Steve Matteo is the author of THE BEATLES' LET IT BE and DYLAN, and an expert on the New York music scene.
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