57th & 9th
Sting’s 2016 studio release, 57th & 9th, is his 12th solo album from the former Police front man and his first rock release in over a decade. The record is filled with 10 songs, rendered in that expert and varied way that Sting can write and play. It was recorded in three months in a New York City, at a studio right near the intersection of 57th Street and 9th Avenue. Apparently, that was enough impetus to inspire Sting to work the intersection into the album’s title.
All the tunes, especially the ballads, get topical lyrics with a certain urgency. There’s the big poppy single “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” and “Inshallah,” which reminds me very much of the Police’s “Bring On The Night.” “50,000” explores the death of too many of our best and brightest musicians dying this year (the lyrics are not one of Sting’s best, sorry to say). There are also those solid and heavy moments where Sting rocks out. It’s great to hear him sing songs like the ballsy “Petrol Head.” It’s equally awesome to have him rolling his beautiful voice around “The Empty Chair,” the acoustic ballad that ends 57th & 9th. Yeah, It’s good to have Sting back in the world of rock and roll.~ Ralph Greco, Jr.