Home Read Albums Of The Week: Sting | The Bridge

Albums Of The Week: Sting | The Bridge

The onetime Police frontman's latest solo album sticks to his stylishly slick ways.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Bridge showcases 17-time Grammy Award-winning musician Sting’s prolific and diverse songwriting prowess with a set of songs representing styles and genres explored throughout his unrivalled career.

The Bridge was written in a year of global pandemic and finds Sting ruminating on personal loss, separation, disruption, lockdown, and extraordinary social and political turmoil. Exploring a multitude of concepts and themes, a “bridge” represents the enduring and ever-evolving link between ideas, cultures, continents, and even the banks of a river. It’s also a route into the past, and so it was that Sting found himself considering the music and the places that have formed his own foundations, and that indeed are embedded in his very DNA.

He explains, “These songs are between one place and another, between one state of mind and another, between life and death, between relationships. Between pandemics, and between eras — politically, socially and psychologically, all of us are stuck in the middle of something. We need a bridge.”

Representing various stages and styles from throughout his career and drawing inspiration from genres including rock ’n’ roll, jazz, classical music and folk, the eclectic album features Sting’s quintessential sound on pop-rock tracks such as the album’s opening rock salvo Rushing Water and new indie-pop sounding If It’s Love, to the smoldering electronic ballad Loving You and the romantic For Her Love, which evokes Sting’s trademark Fields of Gold period. The Book of Numbers, Harmony Road and The Bells of St. Thomas showcase Sting’s collaboration with his long-time guitarist and “right and left-hand” Dominic Miller.

Written and recorded over the last year in lockdown with a coterie of trusted musicians beamed into Sting’s studio remotely — including Dominic Miller (guitar), Josh Freese (drums), Branford Marsalis (saxophone), Manu Katché (drums), Martin Kierszenbaum (keyboards), Fred Renaudin (synthesizer) and backing vocalists Melissa Musique, Gene Noble, Jo Lawry and Laila Biali  The Bridge’s influences are vast; from grappling with the murky origins of the folk ballads in Cecil Sharp’s Collection of English Folk Songs to J. Robert Oppenheimer, from the Roman history of Northumbria to Saint Thomas.

All songs on The Bridge are produced by Sting and Martin Kierszenbaum, except Loving You, which was produced by Sting, Maya Jane Coles and Martin Kierszenbaum. The album was mixed by Robert Orton, engineered by Donal Hodgson and Tony Lake, and mastered by Gene Grimaldi at Oasis Mastering.

The lead single If It’s Love is a upbeat, breezy and infectious pop tune exhibits his undeniable gift for melody. In his signature voice, and taking a different approach to a straight-forward love song, Sting likens contemplating his romantic feelings to calling the doctor about his symptoms.

“I’m certainly not the first songwriter to equate falling in or out of love with an incurable sickness, nor will I be the last,” says Sting. “If It’s Love is my addition to that canon where the tropes of metaphorical symptoms, diagnosis, and downright incapacity are all familiar enough to make each of us smile ruefully.”