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Brand New Day

4.0 out of 5 stars 627 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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There is a difference between being an inspired musician and an informed musician. Sting is the latter. As always, he surrounds himself with ultratalented artists: this time around Stevie Wonder, Branford Marsalis, James Taylor, guitarist Dominic Miller, and the prince of rai Cheb Mami, fill the roster. Brand New Day exhibits about as many musical styles as there are tracks, all encased in dense, meticulous production. The album begins promisingly. "A Thousand Years" pulses atop a lush, two-note foundation. "A Desert Rose" folds trilling Algerian pop into trip-hop. Melodic, late-night jazz ballads dominate the middle portion of the collection. But Sting's preoccupation with odd-numbered time signatures prevents the songs from grooving, while the choruses are yawns. "Fill Her Up" (no, not "Fill 'Er Up"), a country tune, represents Sting at his most self-indulgent. Listening to one of the wealthiest musicians in pop singing "Got no money to invest / Got no prospect / Or education / I was lucky to get the job at this gas station" requires a heroic suspension of disbelief. The song morphs into this gospel number where Sting and a supporting chorus chant "You gotta fill 'er up with Jesus! / You gotta fill her up with life!" Who knew unleaded could be so rousing? --Beth Massa
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: September 28, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M Records
  • ASIN: B00001QGQI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (627 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,760 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I'm a huge Sting fan; I own a large collection of funky Sting B-sides, imports, and foreign language CDs in addition to the regular stuff. So when the new 'Brand New Day' album came out, I was one of the first in line to snag it! Here's my take: if you're a Sting fan, you're in for a ride. If you're not . . . well, give this album another chance. Sting fans, the good news is that this album is REALLY different. Musically, Sting is at his most creative; he's having a blast moving from genre to genre (and hey, why limit it from song to song- - he now mixes country, gospel, and jazz in one track - - eeek!). Lyrically, there are moments of brilliance (I'm particularly fond of the title track and 'Big Lie, Small World'), but there's nothing as consistently incisive as his first two solo efforts. Where do I net out? I'm wild about four tracks, convinced that I'll eventually like three more, and can't stand two of them. If you're not a die-hard Sting fan this album may not be for you at first listen . . . but with time, you may find that your musical horizons stretching. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
Brand New Day delivers some of Sting's strongest and weakest material in a solo career that is passing its fifteenth year (!). Sting has never been content to do the same thing for long, something that irks fans who want another 'Roxanne' or 'Don't Stand So Close to Me'. Brand New Day is much more complicated.
To start, the recording and performers on the album are all first rate. Branford Marsalis and drummer Manu Katche (from Dream of the Blue Turtles in 1985) return as part of staggering array of talented performers. Where the album isn't a perfect success is in the material.
The opener, a soft, minor number, is fine for what it is, but the excellent lyrics (Sting really shines as a songwriter, here and elsewhere) are sometimes lost in the musical murk. When you pay attention, you recognise that this is a worthwhile song, just nothing exciting. 'Desert Rose' is one of Sting's most satisfying solo numbers, with plenty of exotic instrumentation, great backing vocals and the soaring kind of lead vocals -- and plenty of violins! -- that make it a standout. Listen to the music and you can tell this is a serious production by someone who knows more than rock.
'Big Lie, Small Word,' a rhythmic guitar tune, works well enough, leading to 'After the Rain has Fallen', with fairy tale lyrics that show off Sting's distinctive straining vocals and some nice harmonies. 'Perfect Love...' is okay, with a forgettable French rap that shows how bad rap is no matter what language it's in. 'Tomorrow We'll See' delivers more thoughtful lyrics, but here Sting tries his hand at a gentle rap. After an instrumental interlude, Sting casts off his musical taste and plunges into a twangy country romp, complete with dumb lyrics about no job and no money (did he spend it all?
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Format: Audio CD
I don't understand why this album is getting so much flack. It is undoubtedly different from Sting's Nothing Like the Sun days, but who would want it to be the same? Hell, Sting is sounding quite different these days than he did with the release of Roxanne and if he didn't, he would be extremely stale by now. It's called growth. We all do it. Midlife crisis? I disagree. No sense of humor? Just listen to the tracks "Big Lie Small World" and "Perfect Love Gone Wrong" to see that Sting's wit is still intact. In my opinion this is Sting's most laid back and mood-setting album to date - some people might equate this with boredom, but I disagree. Its subtleties might demand a little more of the listener's attention than do Sting's earlier and more upbeat days and what's wrong with that? In my opinion this is as good as any of Sting's previous efforts, although no doubt very different as well (not to mention, quite eclectic too). There are many opinions here but cast all fears aside, at the very least this album deserves a few listens - and I think if you give it a chance, you'll agree with me that this is an excellent listen.
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Format: Audio CD
At midlife, Sting's attention turns to his obsessions, as demonstrated on his latest CD, Brand New Day. Luckily, his obsessions are worthwhile...a variety of good music and powerful hooks.
OK, granted I'm a huge Sting fan anyway, but I've been disappointed off and on with his past few albums. Rest assured, this is one of his best efforts.
So, admittedly the music on Brand New Day is all over the map (I've had a joke for several years that Sting is obsessed with country music, but just can't make up his mind which country...) but I think that's what has kept me listening to it long after its novelty wore off. Sting has packed so much refreshing variety into one album, it's hard to resist.
Case in point: 'Fill Her Up'. This is a good ol' country music tune about a poor mechanic goin' ta Las Vegas with a stolen box o' his boss's money. After two minutes of sheer painful goofiness starring Sting and James Taylor in a good ol' cameo, the song pauses for a moment, and when it gets going again, it's a full out gospel romp. It's glorious. I'm sad to say that more than a few people won't get the payoff from that song, because they'll pop to the next track early in those first two minutes.
But I wonder if Sting's intention wasn't to explore that contrast a little, the contrast between the goofy front of that song, and the glorious finish. I can tell you that song was my least favorite thing on the album on my first listen, but in the end, it's become one of my favorites.
It's nice to see Sting continuing to stretch his musical muscles and, to a degree, his audience's patience. Yes, it takes patience to get hooked on this album, maybe even a little maturity, but it's well worth it.
So, stretch a little. Sting will meet you halfway.
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