Sting opens his heart

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 November, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 November, 2003, 12:00am

It is easy to say that Sting is an artist who has stood the test of time, but that would be to put him in the same category as the Rolling Stones - and he is so much more than that.

We are slightly incredulous that the Stones will play the HarbourFest tonight - it's pretty amazing that Mick Jagger can do anything considering the rock 'n' roll lifestyle he has put his body through.

But the Stones will be doing what they have always done, and their recent world tour is more of an endurance test than anything else, whereas Sting is doing so much more than simply reliving his glory days. Yes, the former lead singer with the Police draws on his past, but he is also looking to the future and his music is evolving.

Sting was in Hong Kong last Sunday to promote his new album, Sacred Love. Once he had fielded the inevitable question about tantric sex - 'Fifteen years on and I'm still setting this rumour straight' - he got down to talking about the album and where it came from, the answer to which was: 'Everything I've thought in the last two years.'

You get the feeling with Sacred Love that Sting is trying to centre himself and regain his spiritual balance - yes, this is Sting - that was shaken by the September 11 attacks and the build-up to the war on Iraq.

The most in-your-face anti-war song, This War, gets straight to the point: investing in war can make you rich, but it will kill your soul.

Sting throws up a lot of questions about the state of the world. It is a relief that he doesn't pretend to have all the answers - that would be cringingly preachy.

His answer is the one you would expect of any spiritually aware songwriter: that love will find a way.

The music is lush and textured and infused with a global consciousness. My favourite track is Whenever I Say Your Name, for which he teamed up with the queen of hip-hop, Mary J. Blige. It is a song album charged with passion and brings out the best of both artists.


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Sting opens his heart

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