Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Sting 15: My Songs

No, dammit. Just… no.
Apparently “enhancing” his music with orchestral touches wasn’t enough for one lifetime. Determined as ever to sound contemporary, My Songs is an attempt by Sting to bring his catalog up into the here and now. That means remixing old tracks, both solo and with the Police, or rerecording them. In the latter instance, “Demolition Man” gets yet another makeover, this time with lots of screaming guitars. But in the case of practically everything else here, the differences between the originals and these versions aren’t apparent outside the vocal. There’s nothing radical or inventive in the arrangements. The feeling the listener gets while enduring this ego exercise is a new appreciation of the album title, as expressed by a three-year-old. (“MY songs! MY fire engine! MY toys! MINE!”)
Rerecording one’s old albums is a common practice among legacy artists who wish to create higher royalties than those granted by the labels that owns the originals. But Sting has been on the same label for his entire career, so that excuse doesn’t apply here. Nor does this particular lord of the manor need the extra euros. If you loved the original versions, stick with them. They won’t waste your time. (Following the tour of the same name, a special edition of the so-called “critically acclaimed” album—according to the press release; a Google search found zero instances of any positive acclaim—added a bonus disc of live versions, which merely add the sound of a rapturous crowd.)

Sting My Songs (2019)—2

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