WHO IS HE? Gordon Sumner — erstwhile Police captain, wannabe musical-theatre titan, Tuscan farm owner, rumoured tantric sex god, master of the immortal lute, fountain of youth discoverer and the man your wife closes her eyes and thinks about when she’s with you.
WHAT IS THIS? Just what the title says: A collection of lightly revamped, remixed, updated and sometimes re-recorded hits from the 67-year-old (Seriously? 67? How?) pop-rocker’s Police shift and solo career. It’s actually his second self-tribute album, coming nine years after the orchestral-themed Symphonicities.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? If you’re a fan: It’s the daring work of a confident, adventurous artist who isn’t afraid to bring his past in line with the present. If you’re not: It’s the vanity project of a self-centred fading star who realizes his best days are behind him — and wants to milk them for all they’re worth.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? Without obsessively nitpicking every change that doesn’t sit quite right with you — but not without feeling a little miffed on behalf of Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers.
WHAT EIGHT WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Gutsy, interesting, eclectic, thoughtful, modernized, inconsistent, egotistical, inessential.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Obviously, most people would rather hear Sting sing Police songs like the retooled Message in a Bottle — but from a musical perspective, some of the more recent solo cuts like Brand New Day feel fresher.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY THINK? ‘Hey, that Sting impersonator sounds pretty good.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Whenever you lose track of your old Police CDs.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A MEDICAL PROCEDURE, WHAT KIND OF PROCEDURE WOULD IT BE? Elective plastic surgery.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? How many times do we need to pay Sting for the same songs? Especially since he’s already richer than God.