Is Sting’s new album, 57th & 9th, any good? + SDEtv unboxing video

Sting phones in a competent effort. The choruses, breaks and middle eights are all in the right places, but 57th & 9th fails to thrill.

Sting‘s PR machine is at pains to make sure we understand that this is his first ROCK album in “over a decade” but what does that really mean? Listening to 57th & 9th I’m reminded that Sting’s best albums don’t operate in a single dimension and can’t be pigeonholed quite so easily. The best Sting long-players have effortlessly woven jazz, folk, world music and even classical influences into the ‘rock’ template.

Let’s take a look at the new album, track-by-track:

Lead single I Can’t Stop Thinking About You is refreshingly straightforward and undoubtedly ‘radio-friendly’ but demands little of the listener. It’s akin to enjoying a hearty meal while you’re eating it, only to feel hungry again not long after. The pleasure is fleeting.

50,000 starts promisingly enough, with a strident U2-style intro but the verses disappoint with Sting delivering lines like “we flew like kites on the wings of amphetamine” in a semi-spoken fashion. The chorus is decent but overall the song isn’t memorable or convincing.

Down Down Down is fairly anonymous, mid-paced song, with a slightly self-pitying lyric (“I’m drinking from this bitter cup, the only place that’s left is up..”). It’s rather unengaging and seems to go on for ages, even though it clocks in at just three-and-a-half minutes.

One Fine Day is concerned with climate change, has a lovely verse melody and is a tight and disciplined three-minute pop song, even if its breezy positivity and slightly banal chorus pay-off line denies it any interesting sharp edges. Surely the next ‘single’.

Pretty Young Soldier tells the story of a young woman who pretends to be a man to join the army and keep an eye on her lover. “With a sword and a musket she took the King’s shilling,” Sting sings (only Mr Sumner gets away with lines like that) and if you remember Blackadder II and “I find you curiously pleasant company, young Bob” or recall Kate Bush’s take on The Handsome Cabin Boy, you’ll get the idea! Better than it sounds, and it has a good intro. At least Sting admits (in the booklet) that cross dressing is a “well-worn theme” in old British folk songs.

Petrol Head is a pumping, noisy number full of driving metaphors, with Sting’s singing voice set to “Demolition Man”. It’s quite annoying and very skippable. He must have been short of songs for this to make the cut.

Acoustic, folk ditty Heading South On The Great North Road is the first song with an affecting lyric and what sounds like a genuine, heartfelt delivery. It’s not ‘rock’ and it doesn’t sound like The Police, but then neither did Englishman In New York, or We Work The Black Seam. This isn’t in that league, but it’s great.

If You Can’t Love Me spends a long time broodingly building up to each chorus, but when we get there it’s a bit of a let-down, both in terms of melody and lyric, with Sting half-singing “If you can’t love me this way, then you must leave me”. File this alongside Down Down Down and tag with the label ‘disappointing’. Both songs have the same writing credits: Sting, Dominic Miller and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta.

Inshallah is the only track on 57th & 9th that you could imagine on Nothing Like The Sun or The Soul Cages. It’s an atmospheric eastern-influenced number which attempts to tackle the refugee crisis from a humanitarian point of view. It’s one of only a few tracks on this album you seek out and want to play again, repeatedly. ‘Inshallah’ is Arabic for “God willing” or “if it is God will then it will come to pass”.

The album closes with The Empty Chair, a plaintive, acoustic number which was originally written for the closing credits of Jim, a documentary about photo-journalist James Foley who was murdered in Syria in 2014. Hard not to be moved when you know the back story.

SDE Summary: Sting’s last ‘rock’ album was 2003’s Sacred Love. He wrote all ten tracks on that record by himself, but only three out of ten get a solo ‘Sting’ credit on 57th & 9th. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that they are three of the better efforts – I Can’t Stop Thinking About You, Heading South On The Great North Road and Inshallah. Too many cooks? Only occasionally does Sting forget he’s trying to delivery a ‘hit’ rock album and it’s largely these moments that are the highlights, otherwise 57th & 9th is Sting-by-numbers. His best work is streets ahead.

Don’t agree? SDE would like to hear your views of the new album. Leave a comment.

Check out the SDEtv unboxing video of the super deluxe edition, below.

track_listing57th & 9th CD / LP

1. I Can’t Stop Thinking About You
2. 50,000
3. Down, Down, Down
4. One Fine Day
5. Pretty Young Soldier
6. Petrol Head
7. Heading South On the Great North Road
8. If You Can’t Love Me
9. Inshallah
10. The Empty Chair

57th & 9th Deluxe CD edition bonus tracks

I Can’t Stop Thinking About You (LA Version)*
Inshallah (Berlin Sessions Version)*
Next to You*

57th & 9th Extra content for SDE

DVD with Sting interview and video of live performance of Next to You
Collectible photos

SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.


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[…] tour Sting has teamed up with others to keep him company (Paul Simon and now Shaggy). 2016’s ‘57th & 9th’ is his only solo album in the last 15 years and after its somewhat tepid reception, Sting may […]

[…] Shaggy cohort called ‘Sting International’). I quite liked the other Sting’s 2016 album, 57th & 9th, but compared to this new record it sounds a bit tentative and it’s not a bundle of laughs. I […]


I think you are all insane! For me this album is a tremendous effort on Sting’s part. If you don’t understand the lyrics of I Can’t Stop Thinking About You, and think it’s a cheezy pop love song you really should take a closer listen. I love the hard hitting Petrol Head. Pretty Young Soldier is one of his finest works, and the story telling is magical. Down, Down, Down, and If you still love me are very passionate. The first time I listened to the empty chair I got a little teary eyed. Inshallah paints a terrific picture of the migrant struggle. I don’t want Sting to do Police songs in 2017 on an album. I want to hear the adventures he takes musically, and the tales he has to tell. I had to listen to this album several times to get the feel for what he was doing, because it sounded so different from his previous works. I have not stopped listening since, and I play 57th & 9th as much as any Sting ever.

Gregory Afonso

I’ve been a Sting fan since 1982 and grew up with Police music and thereafter with Sting’s music once he lef the police. Sting is awesome and all his past albums are incredible. Now that he released a new album after a decade, we all might as well enjoy rather than scrutinize it.I love all the tracks and will always enjoy all the music that Sting makes in future.LONG LIVE STING!!!!!


Outlandos D’Amour, Regatta De Blanc and Zenyatta Mondatta display raw energy at its best. True rock and roll albums. Stewart Copeland once stated that in Ghost in the Machine and Synchronicity, the albums were very calculated. For me, Dream of the Blue Turtle is the least assiduous album in his solo career but none of his solo albums sound as raw as his first three with the Police. His latest album….I guess he thought by going to the studio without any pre-written songs would bring out the rawness. It did to a degree. I grew up with the Police and Sting. Most of us who follow an artist will have an emotional connection with one, maybe two of their albums, and from then on, a connection with a couple of songs on other albums. Sting, like all other artists can’t live in the past, or recreate it. I thank him for writing great music when I was growing up because the songs met my needs during a certain time in my life. From Brand New Day and on, I lost the connection. For 57th and 9th, I listened to the previews on iTunes but wasn’t hooked.


Be in the cheap bins for Christmas


what was…


I wish Sting (and his band) would regain the courage to record without thinking and without planning, and trust others to get the album together, etc. I guarantee Sting did not know what what going to come out of the creative process when he recorded his best work (in most cases not having the luxury of knowing any better). He just let the results be whatever they were. Now, unfortunately, those instances are fleeting because he believes he does know better and can consistently record to an end point of his own choosing. Sorry, it does not work that way for any artist (much as they may wish differently).

Some are having us believe the album sessions transpired so very spontaneously and organically. Going to such lengths to convince us this album was anything but contrived. Uh-huh.

I don’t think Sting’s writing is broken (although misses the mark at times). It is the recording process which is, for the most part, leading him astray. Makes you wonder if demos (were they to exist) would make for a better album than the finished product.

Philip Cohen

I was a big fan of Sting, but he lost me with the album(“Brand New Day”?) where one song had a French language Rap artist. Still, I was curious. Sting’s voice is not what it used to be. Both his note range and dynamic range are affected. Even back at the time of his reunion with “The Police” he was de-tuning half the songs to lower keys, and the songs that were performed at the original keys found Sting struggling with the higher notes. I guess it’s better to be past one’s prime than to have never had a prime.


I like many here on this board have stuck by stick, I personally loved his lute album, the winter album, the Last ship was great. But this….its OK…..its not great.

Where is Hugh Padgham………really. This would have been a different album i believe if he was on board.

Sting’s greatest success all came from Hugh…..Maybe the next album he will re-think it and include Hugh.

Stephen E Cohen

I have stuck with Sting every step of his solo career. Over the past 14 years since “Sacred Love”, some of his experiments have worked for me. I completely loved his concept of “The Last Ship”, and seeing it on Broadway just enhanced my feelings towards this set of music. Some of his albums during this period missed the mark for me-the lute album really tries a die-hard fan’s patience! So, I was more than excited to pre-order the deluxe set of his new album. I get the whole need to deliver a more guitar-oriented album, and would respect that even more if Sting could write better quality rock songs like he did in the past (“Synchronicity II”, “The Soul Cages”). But, with the exception of the lead single, “I’ve Can’t Stop Thinking About You”, most of the guitar-laden tracks just do not have the hooks necessary to put them up there with his best work. In my opinion, the better songs on the album are still the quieter songs, such as “The Empty Chair” and the gorgeous “If You Can’t Love Me”, which tends to channel his underrated “Mercury Falling” period.


I boycotted Sting not just because his music became mediocre but also because of his rank hipocrasy. Like this: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/lostinshowbiz/2010/feb/22/sting-uzbekistan


That is very disappointing to read! Particularly as Amnesty have sent multiple warnings.

It’s sad the western world gets involved in some issues and clearly turns a very blind eye to other.

There is clearly no justice in the world, but I suppose we always risk being hypocritical whatever we do, when we consider the illegal occupation of Northern Ireland and that’s right on our doorstep!


Johnny Feathers

Can’t say I’ve had much interest in him since Ten Summoner’s Tales, though he was one of my first favorite rock stars. The two songs I’ve heard performed from this album sounded intentionally derivative of the Police. Fine, but then, why not just reunite that band? (Not that their reunion tour displayed much chemistry between the band members.) Ah, well.


Paul, the Sting CD + DVD is £24.99 on the UK Greatoffers website…, standard CD is £5.99, LP is £14.99.


I grew up with Sting and The Police. Synchronicity, Nothing Like The Sun and The Soul Cages are masterpieces in my opinion. I listened to 57th & 9th on Spotify a few times. The album is a pile of shit.


… And same old Colaiuta and Miller still being there after all these years really doesn’ t help much btw… Time for a serious change, new energy, new ideas. But probably he is too arrogant to allow that.


Not surprised at your review, Paul, it was enough for me to hear the single on the radio to understand that Sting has nothing more to say when it comes to “rock” or “pop”… What a lazy and airless effort.
Not heard the album and will not listen to it. He has been producing incredibly weak stuff since Ten Summoner’ s Tales. Brand New Day and Sacred Love are shameful, just like Phil Collin’ s track for Disney and the relevant album back in the day, what was it called something like Dance into the Light?
I may recognize that he might still be in his environment when he does jazzy or acoustic stuff (maybe even talking about shipyards) but for what regards “rock” he is finished. Without Summers and Copeland and their chemistry it is better if he retires.
Janet said a very right thing, but at the same time I am luckily capable also of adopting and loving and singing and memorising and putting up there with the best and going back to listen to new songs from “old” bands/singers if they are good. See Duran’ s All You Need Is Now, DM’ s Playing The Angel, ABC’ s Lexicon II, New Order’ s Music Complete, etc.


What I find interesting is here in the US Sting has never really gotten excellent reviews…and now he has released a lackluster album and the US reviews are calling it the best album he has done in ages. It’s rather odd, really.


I’ve been a Sting fan for over 20 years. He is probably in my top 5 favorite artists ever, and like many others I go back to his music and listen to everything every once in a while. I wasn’t very keen on the lute music, his winter album or the musical. I was almost sad when I read a couple of years ago that he no longer felt the need or desire to write pop songs. Which is why I was very happy when his new album was announced. It took me a couple of listens, but I’ve had it on repeat since last weekend and I really really like it. Favorite song is Pretty Young Soldier. I love the line “and as she release her brown hair from a band, it tumbled all down her shoulders and into his hands”.
Now to the physical products. I prefer the standard edition. The flow of the album is much better without having to listen to different versions I Can’t Stop and Inshallah again, and a live Next To You. I would much prefer those on a second disc with maybe some more tracks. But that’s how record companies do it with many releases these days so be it. I prefer single disc deluxe editions to contain additional studio material and not simply filler.
I’m yet to get my hands on the so called Super Deluxe Edition CD/DVD, but having seen Paul’s video, I think I will hand back for a price drop. This is currently priced at $100 at the only Australian retailer stocking it, and can be had for half that from overseas. Can anyone shed some light on the DVD content please.


Half a decent album, the other half would struggle to fill cd single b sides. What’s worse is that many riffs sound like other Sting songs. Can’t Stop sounds like Truth Hits Everybody, and even Inshallah takes the riff from Never Coming Home


The problem here is that the production and especially the guitarist is not sympathetic to Sting’s style.
Everything is too rushed and trying too hard to be a ‘rock album’.
He needs Andy to bring things down and create ambient space.


No-one who qualifies for a winter fuel allowance should wear trousers that tight.

alan hansen

almost completely forgettable.


I am following Sing since Ghost in the machine. Nothing tops Blue Turtles/Bring on the night. IM ver happy to listen to a new Sting record rather than reading orbituaries. It has been garstly 2016 losing idols like Bowie, Prince, Cohen thus I am happy Sting is still making music. Rock? No. Play Certifiable instead. Or better, Outlandos d’Amour. Peace. Now can we please get Live Aid with Branford Marsalis and Phil Collins on CD? Thank you Bob Geldof. Lol.


Building on Steve Tirner’s point…..Sting has not helped himself in this regard by waiting 5 gazillion years to put out a new album of rock/pop songs. He even said in interviews that he didn’t really have any driving need to put out a new album of original rock/pop tunes. He made himself irrelevant. Lots of devoted fans said, “well, that’s over and done with.” I’d probably feel differently about Sting if he’d put a new record out a couple years after “Sacred Love.” But he decided to go another direction.


It has to be tough these days to be an artist at Sting’s age and release a new album. I actually think some rockers at his age are putting out some good new music, but no matter how good it is, it will never have the impact of the old classics. Sting could release a new song in June 2017 on iTunes that is just as good as “Every Breath You Take,” but most longtime fans of his won’t want to hear it as much as the classics if they go to his show. The problem that an artist like Sting has is that his classic songs are caught up in the memories and major life events of his older listeners. People can remember the first time they heard “Message in a Bottle,” or how they smoked their first joint to “Driven to Tears.” People have major emotional connections to these songs that feed into nostalgia. The songs have had years and years to sink into our brains.

I guess what I am saying is that I feel that some fans are wrong in saying that “age” washes up a songwriter’s creativity. Long time listeners can play a part in a mistaken musical assessment. My favorite artist ever is David Bowie, and “The Next Day,” which he put out in 2013, is one of my 5 favorite Bowie albums ever. Its songs are just brilliant. “Blackstar,” his last album, was immensely creative as well. But no matter how much I love newer Bowie songs like “I’d Rather Be High” or “You Will Set the World on Fire,” they just don’t have the same emotional resonance as “Ziggy Stardust” or “Station To Station” for me. But it’s not because they are inferior songs. It’s because “Ziggy” is tied up with so many memories. I don’t know. It’s hard to explain.

I guess what I am saying is that I would caution people to not just dismiss the new work of older classic rock artists. Try to critique the music for what it is, and recognize that we as long time listeners play a part in whether a new song is as good as an oldie, and that our reasons for feeling this way may have to do with some things that have nothing to do with how good the new song really is. If “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” is associated with your wedding and your first kiss, nothing Sting writes these days is going to going to “appear” to be as good as that old song. It’s very, very easy to get caught in the nostalgia trap. I fall for it myself. But I do my best to listen to the new music and give it an honest assessment.

I say this as a listener who is still trying to get into Sting’s new CD. I’m struggling so far.


That’s a true assessment there, Janet. My most favourite album ever is Synchronicity, by The Police, of course. I have a most strange relationship with this. My dad died in the summer of ’83 when it came out.
I listened to it, back to back, non stop. It helped me through that awful period of my twelve years of life.
I know it from start to finish, I don’t even have to think about what song comes next, or note.
After I got through that time, the album got put away and I didn’t ever listen to it in it’s entirety again until a few months ago. When I did, it was like being transported back in time to the most painful and horrific time I’ve ever been through.
Sure, I’ve heard most of those songs on their own since then but they don’t have the same effect until I hear them in their original order.
What, I guess, I’m trying to say here is, you’re right. Guys like us will always remember the older music, for whatever reason, personal or otherwise. I even have a signed copy on my wall as some sort of reminder of who I am. I love it and hate it, all at the same time.
And yeah, I’ve fallen into that nostalgia trap where nothing Sting does now will ever come close.
But, I’m still willing to give him a go.
And, like you, I’m struggling with the new album. I had such high hopes after hearing it was a “rock” album. It is not. There are only about three or four songs on there which do something to me.
I’ll keep listening though to it though.
Thanks Janet!


Agree. Definitely.


Daran = While I too believe that a singer/songwriter’s primary job is to entertain, I also very strongly believe in what my favorite artist Bruce Springsteen once said when an interviewer questioned his credibility as a “working class” songwriter: “You write from the entirety of your experience. Anyone who has been kicked around or who has seen family, friends and others kicked around in some fashion, you never, ever forget it.” What he went on to say is that each day when he sits down to write, he thinks of his deceased Dad who lost all of his hearing in a non-unionized plastics factory and who later lost himself to bi-polar manic depression. He writes for his Mom, who bought him his first cheap Japanese guitar with finance company money that took years and years to pay off. He writes for himself and his band – none of whom earned squat until they were 35 years old or so due to music industry scum bugs. Almost everyone around him had nothing and grew up with nothing. They worked hard and did all the right things and were treated like garbage. He’s writing for those people, and the countless factory workers, auto mechanics and others who attend his gigs for a little bit a hope. Every dime he has ever earned from merchandising goes to local soup kitchens. He’s done more work for Vietnam Vets than any celebrity. Some of the guys in his first bands went off to war and never came back, and the ones who did weren’t the same. He can’t forget it just because he has millions in the bank now.

I can’t speak as well for the guys in U2, but for more insight, I would advise watching a movie called “It Might Get Loud” in which The Edge described how U2’s original ambitions musically, no matter how successful they got, were to help save their country which was in the middle of bloodshed and civil war. For the guys in U2, music was their only way out of factory jobs and a caste system that they had limited abilities to change. I find Bono to be a bit too sermonizing for my taste, but these people have reasons for writing the things they write about that hit very close to home. They attribute so much of their success to just plain luck, and they feel an obligation to help in the best way they know how: writing songs.

As far as Sting is concerned, go to sting.com and read many of his recent interviews. He is regularly asked about his environmental causes and how they seem so out of touch with his carbon footprint. He outlines all the ways in which he, his family and bandmates address those issues in order to balance out the damage that they do. He is keenly aware of people accusing him of hypocrisy. He thinks about these things.

The main issue that I have is when people want to strip songwriters of the right to write about things in the news, politics, class warfare, whatever, just because their life is so different than the people they are writing about. Psychologists are the first people who tell you that most of our personality and belief systems are formed during early childhood. If that’s the case, I suspect the motivations of songwriters and what drives them to write songs isn’t going to change just because they hit the jackpot financially. To just write love songs….that would be real dishonesty.

Steve Tirner

I have no problem with any artist writing about political or contentions subjects. However I have a problem with artists who have clearly lost their muse trying to force sub standard material onto a public with a nostalgic yearning for former glories. Sting has no relevance in 2016.


“trying to force sub standard material onto a public”

Who’s “trying to force” you to buy this?!


Springsteen I grant as an exception. Like Billy Joel and Don Henley they retain their community roots and seem to feel their pain in a real sincere way. Never felt that with Sting in recent years to be honest, even with the the shipyard music.

The offset carbon plans the rich and famous tout is a sham to cushion their guilt. Kind of ‘I can afford to pay a fine/taxes to cover my grotesque lifestyle, so I will carry on business as usual whilst I protest about climate change caused by those who can’t pay them, and encourage others to change their lifestyle whilst I won’t change at all’. Did U2 really need to hire a big Boeing to fly them to environmentally friendly Glastonbury? Getting back to the UK from the 360 tour in the US should not have been a problem. Were there no scheduled flights from the US to London that week? Of course there were, but of course U2 don’t do flying with the masses anymore at anytime. Always private now. Hypocrisy of the wealthy, nothing more, nothing less.

I am a U2 fan, but musically they are not saying much new anymore either. Seeing that film did not tell me anything new about Edge or U2 from the U2 books I have read. Incidentally, as an example of hypocrisy Edge was heavily criticised for seeking planning permission for a new Malibu home on a mountainside that was described unanimously as an ‘environmental disaster’. Do as I say plebs, not as I do….

David L

Excellent comment and spot on re Springsteen in particular.

William M

Why is the CD/DVD Deluxe so pricey?, it’s not worth the asking price set alongside the content you get for your money. A bit like the deluxe long box version of the new Emeli Sande album which is even more pointless

Steve Tirner

Sting stopped being relevant about 25 years ago. Surprised that you even review him. I recall his famous lute album was in the bargain bins within sitting month of release. Why do labels still release his stuff?


I think this is a great album. It was written and recorded quickly. I like the less produced sparse sound.

For someone who is 65 this still matches up to his earlier works.

My only criticism is that Sting is his very best when he has something deep and meaningful to write about.

I don’t agree at all “Inshallah” would have fitted onto the Soul Cages, neither musically or even lyrically! If anything, it would have sat on Brand New Day – however, I don’t really look for these such comparisons.

I bought all five physical formats. All are great as would be expected, particularly the gatefold vinyl formats.

I do find it odd that only high street shops and Amazon are considered when purchasing.

Does no one ever go to the artists actual shop?

Go to Stings shop and get everything MUCH cheaper: http://store.universalmusic.com/sting/

P&P for FIVE formats was just 3.50!!!



First of all, in this day of age of disposable “iTunes” music, I would advise all owners of this CD to listen to it in its entirety several times before making a final judgment. There are several CD’s in my collection that required 10 or so listenings before I finally began to like them. That being said, after two listenings, there isn’t a single track on Sting’s new album that I really enjoy. His last studio effort, “Sacred Love,” had three of the best tracks he’s ever penned: “Sacred Love,” “Never Coming Home” and “Dead Man’s Rope,” plus a few others like “Book Of My Life” that were enjoyable. But I kind of knew that coming off of the most successful album of his solo career that “Sacred Love” wasn’t going to be as good. One of the issues with this new album maybe the fact that according to Sting, it was written and recorded very “spontaneously.” Honestly, there are very few albums that I like that weren’t conceived over a fairly significant period of time. You need time to allow the songs to change, mutate and so on. You need to try out different arrangements, different melodies, etc. Waiting also allows you to write more songs that you would normally need for a whole album. This allows you to have more choice when picking the material. Also, another thing about this new CD that I don’t like is that some of the songs are too wordy. They leave very little room for Sting to sing out melodies. He’s a beautiful singer and one of the few singers in his age group that can really belt out a melody, but he’s written so many words per line in some of these tracks that it’s almost as if he’s reading the lyrics.


Lovely contradiction between your first first and third sentence!

Staale Venstad

Stings new album is his most boring record ever.


Petrolhead sounds ghastly! An artist clearly short of ideas….. Where is the angst and feeling these days Sting? I place him alongside those such as U2 as a gigantuan ‘working class man of the people’ artist from days back who is now so very wealthy and powerful that the songs of substance he records these days often seem diminished because of it.

Can Sting, Bono and Edge et al actually write about anything of substance (not lovey dovey stuff) with real attachment and understanding these days? Shielded as they are from reality by bodyguards, opulence and several hundred million dollars in the bank.

To have someone who has now spent more of their life burning aviation fuel in multi-million dollar Learjet VIP luxury than time amongst the ordinary singing about the plight of refugees and the environment etc is a bit hard to swallow sometimes, noble as it is (and as much as I try to be open to it).

Maybe they should stick to the lovey dovey stuff. No harm in that, for Sting Fields of Gold is as good as he ever did solo.


I’ve always liked Sting, and he’s done some really great singles throughout his career, but in my opinion the last rule solid album he did that felt like a cohesive piece from start to finish was Nothing Like the Sun.

DJ Salinger

Haven’t enjoyed anything he’s done since ‘Ten Summoner’s Tales’ I’m afraid. A position that’s unlikely to change with this one either, judging by the execrable lead single and your comments here Paul.

Quite surprised the photoshopped-by-a-toddler cover doesn’t depict him hovering over the Sea of Galilee rather than a bit of damp tarmac. Maybe next time.


His last great album for me was The Soul Cages (fantastic from start to finish). Ten Summoner’s Tales is pretty good as well but I do skip a few tracks, love most of Brand New Day and Sacred Love just kind of limped along. He new album has some great songs but it just sounds like he didn’t put a while lot of effort into it. At least the new album is bizarre and difficult to listen to like “Songs From the Labyrinth” and “The Last Ship”.


When these old rockers make albums it is mostly average stuff. Their creativity peaked ages ago and whatever they release these days is mostly for the hard core fans. It’s rare these oldies release an album that truly surprises, although it does happen (Duren Duran’s “All You Need Is Now” was superb). This sounds like another one of those average oldies albums. I heard 4 songs of the album. Not horrible but nothing to write home about.

Chris Squires

I see your “All you need is now” and raise you “50 Words for Snow”…

Some “oldies” never lose it….


Kauwgompie – Are U suggesting “oldies” acts need to stop making albums simply because YOU don’t like them? Thank God they don’t listen to you!


I would add Lexicon of Love 2 to that list too.


Vinyl sounds better than CD, less compression/limiting. Also two songs are different on vinyl


50,000 and One Fine Day are longer on vinyl


I´ll ask Sting next time I meet him, ok?


He jumped the shark years ago! The cover on its own is enough to prevent me buying
Looks like a bid to remake Midnight cowboy. Is 57th and 9 th where he plies his trade ?
Simply awful cover and music.


Hi Paul, I’m afraid you’re right. I’ve listened a couple of times now, and it just ain’t as good as his first solo albums. Ever since Brand New Day the albums are disappointing. This new one too unfortunately.

Michael Fortin

Great video Paul! I own the standard edition (the one with “Sting” in white on the cover) and the track by track commentary is NOT included. The more general commentary he gives on the album IS included. I though the album was pretty good. I like the fact that it clocks in at 37 minutes for the standard version, making for a brisk listen. I though the songs were catchy and well crafted, but I also liked Paper Gods so our opinions differ on these things :)

Ben Williams

I really enjoyed the album, listened to it several times over its first weekend of release and thought it had a good sound and sounded like Sting twenty years ago. I wish that Inshallah had been put at track 3 or 4 as I feel it deserved to be heard sooner rather than later, and that being the penultimate track before another quiet but lovely and poignant song, The Empty Chair, it faded into the background. Think if Fragile had been put before The Secret Marriage on Nothing Like The Sun for example.

All in all, a fine addition to the Sting pop canon (labelling this a rock album is as helpful as calling Mercury Falling ‘rock’) and I will listen to this as much, if not more, than any of his albums since Brand New Day.

I simply bought the simple ‘tenner’ standard edition. I would have gone deluxe or super-deluxe had Sting added a little more value to the super-deluxe or non-album tracks to the deluxe, rather than alt. versions.

Nice it reached the top 20 in the UK. Not too surprised it didn’t make the top ten; whilst I Can’t Stop Thinking About You is a decent Police-sounding single, it is hardly Englishman In New York or If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, thus not going to force non-die hards to pick up Sting’s latest offering.

Now we have the ‘rock’ release out the way and he’s temporarily bored of the lute, can we have deluxe editions of his first 5 solo albums now?

Ollie Carlisle

Cheers Paul. Do the bonus tracks add anything worthwhile?


Hello again Paul. Just read your review and watched the unboxing video. I full-on agree with your review of 57th & 9th. I’ve been a big Sting fan for AGES… like most of his fans. And I have to say I was a bit disappointed with this release. While there are a couple of decent tracks, as a whole I think its a let-down. I was so hungry to finally hear Sting “rock out” again with some “regular” music that didn’t contain a lute or was about shipyards. I was hoping for at least some similarities to Nothing Like The Sun or All This Time. Let’s just hope this is Sting dipping his toe back in the water… and his next “rock” effort will be a bit more Sting. I’d love to hear a response from you. Please write back if you get a chance. And welcome home from Berlin! Must’ve been quite a trip!

Henrik Kirkegaard

I like sting but
The new album is just OK but not more
More of the track’s are awful
The deluxe box look to be a mistake
To much to pay for
I agree with most of you
Stings best work is old now
It’s a shame

Kevin Farrow

Is that a poem you just wrote Henrik? lol