Sting
...Nothing Like the Sun


4.5
superb

Review

by Soyn USER (5 Reviews)
June 20th, 2017 | 27 replies


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Out of the wound, a lovely flower grew.

How do you deal with loss"

When Sting lost his mother, the former lead singer of a band called "The Police" (you may or may not know one of their songs by heart) turned to what he knew best: Pop. Explosive, joyous, infectious Pop. The very first song, "The Lazarus Heart", makes direct reference to wounds, healing, the sort of love a mother might feel for her son. Birds fly out of a window. And I'd be a fool if I forgot to mention the power imbued within the simple words I used in my tagline, speaking of flowers growing out of wounds in a direct an unpretentious way DalĂ* might have appreciated.

The album "...Nothing Like The Sun" is chock-full of imagery like this. In "Be Still My Beating Heart", a song that constantly changes and loops back onto itself when listened to carefully, Sting sings about his heart drowning in a sea of emotion. While this sentiment might sound trite (or, God forbid, cliche) in another performer's hands, here, it draws parallels to the sort of deep melancholy Sting is adept at cultivating. Still, he doesn't fully surrender to it, at least not in the first half of the album. The Jazz interlude in "Englishman in New York" and the joyous "sooner or later"-chorus in "History Will Teach Us Nothing" show him at his most inventive, much like the bouncing rhythm section he employs in "Straight To My Heart". "We'll be Together" jumps around like a young puppy discovering the power of its legs, and is as far away from sadness as a Pop song could possibly be. Nevertheless, melancholy is still an important emotion in Sting's repertoire, and the show-stopping "Fragile" is still an important testament to the way a simple acoustic guitar riff can hug the words it accompanies so closely, so lavishly, that they become intrinsically linked forever. Sting is lucky to have made another song as good as this with "Shape of my Heart", but his melancholy soul is ultimately more at home here than it ever could be in "Ten Summoner's Tales."

However, no album is perfect. "Rock Steady" is fun but slight, and "They Dance Alone", while beautiful at times, outstays its welcome by about two and a half minutes. Sometimes, Sting can seem pretentious, sure of how he wants to say something, but still undecided on what that something is. None of these blunders can hinder the stellar moments from shining bright, though.

Sting's cover of "Little Wing", especially the line "Now she's walking through the clouds", are coloured by a deep feeling of longing and regret. Hiram Bullock's guitar and Branford Marsalis's saxophone on this song are some of this album's highlights, virtuoso performances that use Hendrix' song the same way old Jazz artists used gospel, as an inspiring blueprint to bounce their own ideas off of. And Sting sing-screaming "anything" nigh countless times still manages to send a chill down my spine, even though I've spent the better half of a decade listening to and loving this album.

And then there's the closer. "The Secret Marriage" is one of my favourite last songs on any album. I've spent countless days turning the words over in my head, imagining the secret lover's meeting in many settings and times while Ken Helman's bare piano fills my ear. The melody was borrowed from a Brecht theatre piece, but Sting makes it completely his own. And though it's hopeful, the final conclusion is probably the most pessimistic thing on the album:

"No flowers on the altar/no white veil in your hair/no maiden dress to alter/no bible oath to swear/the secret marriage vow is never spoken/the secret marriage never can be broken."

A promise that can't be broken can't be kept, either, and the absence of flowers on the altar is a stark reminder that even those that grow from wounds eventually fade. But oh, if you loop the album, the quiet of "The Secret Marriage" leads right into the bright synths of "The Lazarus Heart", two songs that couldn't be more polar opposites. I'm still not sure what Sting is trying to tell me, or what happened here on accident, way back when looping albums into themselves wasn't a practice at all, barring some exceptions. The only conclusion I can come to is that even the lovers who live inside "The Secret Marriage" can take solace in the fact that, yes, flowers grow from wounds. And they can dance into the night to the beat of the Lazarus Heart and Sting's album.

Taken at a surface level, it's slightly melancholic Pop with a jazzy edge. But if you take a deeper look, there's probably nothing else like it.


user ratings (93)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Soyn
June 20th 2017


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My first review! Be kind and harsh and all those wonderful things that make people improve.

butcherboy
June 20th 2017


9464 Comments


this is very decent for a first review.. the closing sentence is great too.. i'd get rid of the whole black claws of death bit though.. a little banal, plus sort of jesusy.. hahaha.. have your pos!

Soyn
June 20th 2017


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Done! Thank you so much.

Divaman
June 20th 2017


3462 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice first review, and nice choice of an album that really needed one.

Digging: Kakkmaddafakka - Diplomacy

Beardog
June 21st 2017


2747 Comments


good review! Listening to it now

Jethro42
June 21st 2017


15672 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Perfect album. I'll relisten to Ten Summoner's Tales to see if I love it as much.

I pos'd your review.

Soyn
June 21st 2017


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you all so much! Ten Summoner's Tales is really good, but ...Nothing Like The Sun seems more emotional to me, in addition to being more adventurous. Shape of My Heart, It's Probably Me and Fields of Gold are stellar songs, though, in addition to being on an album that's more coherent.

Ocean of Noise
June 21st 2017


10597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album. Props on reviewing it.

Digging: Buckethead - Trace Candle

butcherboy
June 21st 2017


9464 Comments


will forever associate Shape of my Heart with Leon the professional.. love Jean Reno.

Ocean of Noise
June 21st 2017


10597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"They Dance Alone" is possibly the best Sting song.

theBoneyKing
June 21st 2017


16300 Comments


Ha butch, great film...and song!

Never listened to this one in full, maybe someday.

butcherboy
June 21st 2017


9464 Comments


gary oldman talking how beethoven loses steam after his openings.. hahahaha

Soyn
June 21st 2017


25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'd have to disagree on that one, Ocean of Noise. I'd give that title to Fields of Gold, I just love the way that bass line in addition to the peaceful, longing lyrics. Though I do agree there's something special about They Dance Alone. It's probably one of his most ambitious songs.

e210013
June 21st 2017


2251 Comments


I'm not very familiar with Sting solo stuff. Essentially my knowledge about his solo career is about "Ten Summoner's Tales", "Mercury Falling" and the live album "...All This Time". I particularly like the first one. But, as a great fan of him and The Police and according with your opinions, I must pay more attention to his solo career, and it seems, especially with this album.
About your review, nice first review, and nice choice of an album that really needed one. So, have your pos.

TheLongShot
June 22nd 2017


747 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

""They Dance Alone" is possibly the best Sting song."



Would potentially second that assertion, "Shape of My Heart" is a nice one as well and I'm also fond of "We Work the Black Seam" from his debut, really lovely track from a sonic standpoint (as are many of his songs, to be fair).

TwigTW
June 22nd 2017


3707 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice first review--it's hard to say what my favorite Sting album is, but this very well might be it. I think he gets the jazz-pop balance perfect on this one.

Digging: Beth Gibbons and The Polish National Radio Orchestra - Gorecki Symphony No. 3: Symphony of Sorrowful Song

manosg
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2017


11599 Comments


Jamming this one for the first time. Pretty good album.

Digging: Airged L'amh - One Eyed God

MrSirLordGentleman
November 8th 2017


12396 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

didn't noticed this got a review, I really wanted to review this one haha, but I prefer to give priority to albums which lack one



It is cool to see that it is a nice review

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2017


15111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I prefer to give priority to albums which lack one"

Same fam, can't wait to jam this soon

MrSirLordGentleman
November 8th 2017


12396 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This, Soul Cages and Summoner's Tale are soft rock masterpieces



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy