Selected by Dan Grunebaum
It' been a year since Sting released his
most recent album Brand New Day, but now that his extensive North American summer
tour is over, fans in Japan will soon be graced by His Presence. Kanto area engagements
include two already sold-out dates at Pacifico Yokohama and Budokan, and a recently added
extra Budokan date.
Hard to believe it, but almost 20 years have gone by since Sting (born Gordon Sumner)
launched his solo career. Thereafter, the Englishman has released a dozen or so albums,
culminating in last September's Brand New Day.
Brand New Day didn't win any praise from Police fans, but let's face it - with
Sting fast approaching his fiftieth birthday, it's a bit much to hope for the innovation
of his early days. Instead, with Brand New Day, Sting delivered pretty much what
he's been delivering for years now: superbly executed, super-smooth adult contemporary
music. And on that count, he is an acknowledged master.
Providing some melodic moments with guests James Taylor and Stevie Wonder, Sting told Guitarworld
that he also used Brand New Day to explore his interest in "perverting rock
and roll into as many different colors and hybrids as [he] can." "Desert
Rose," for instance, evokes the Middle East, while "Fill Her Up" is Sting's
attempt at country music.
Brand New Day and his previous album Mercury Falling didn't pack the
punch of Sting's finest solo release, 1993's Ten Summoner's Tales. But, as
evidenced by how quickly his shows have sold out, Sting remains a heavyweight concert
Sting always teams up with the best sidemen to put on a highly professional show. And who
knows-with a bit of luck, he may even dust off some of his old Police numbers. "It's
my job to sing every song we do as if it was written yesterday," he says on his
website, "and to breathe new life into it."
Pacifico Yokohama on October 14 and Budokan on October 16, 25 & 26. See listings for details.