'Sacred Love' is the ninth album from Sting and his first in four years since the successful 1999 album 'Brand New Day'. The album is a mix of world music inspired adult pop rock and features a guest appearance from soul diva Mary J. Bligeon the track 'Whenever I Say Your Name'. The single 'Send My Love' is also included.
Sting explores his shiny, happy side on Sacred Love
, adding playful touches of techno to his smooth, vaguely multi-cultural pop sound. Like 1999's Brand New Day
sounds effortless and content, with expert musicians backing up Sting's gauzy revelations about love and life. The former Police
frontman shakes things up here and there; DJ/producers like BT
and Victor Calderone
breathe life into tracks like "Never Coming Home" and "Send Your Love," while Mary J. Blige
puts her smoky vocals to work on "Whenever I Say Your Name." "This War" takes a not-so-subtle shot at George W. Bush, as Sting gives his left-leaning fan base a thrill with lyrics like "Your daddy was a businessman/ and it always made good sense/ You know the war can make you rich my friend/ In dollars, pounds, and cents." Of course, Sting long ago cashed in his rebel cachet for adult contemporary oblivion. But even though this music is designed for broad appeal, it does so with the natural, unforced ease of a seasoned showman. --Matthew Cooke