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Symphonicities

1 rating: -5.0
Classical, Pop, and Rock album by Sting

We could quibble that Sting played it safe Saturday night at the Winspear Opera House. We could complain that he and his stellar three-piece band - drummer Josh Freese, keyboardist David Sancious and guitarist Dominic Miller - pandered to the 30-and-up … see full wiki

Tags: Music, Pop, Rock, Classical
1 review about Symphonicities

Sting keeps his composure--again

  • Jul 15, 2010
  • by
Rating:
-5
Oh, Sting. My affection for the man and his work gives me the courage even now to pronounce that he was the first popular artist I ever loved, first via the Police and shortly thereafter through his zany body of solo work. Then he'd fallen out of the "Artists to Take Seriously" category, but he hadn't become a joke, yet. Now Sting is one of the rudest jokes in music: it would be hilarious if it weren't such a travesty. He embodies the stereotypical "maturation" of tastes: start out aggressive with punk rock, compose yourself into adult contemporary, mellow and settle into classical music, calmed down, cup of tea by your side. That isn't maturation, it's decomposition, and "Symphonicities" is the gross product. This album is a Police fan's nightmare. Listening to "Sting's most celebrated songs re-imagined for symphonic arrangement" is like watching the scene in "Brimstone and Treacle" in which Sting's character rapes a mentally-ill woman--twelve times.

"It takes a man to suffer ignorance and smile," Sting reprises on this new rendition of "Englishman in New York." True that. It takes a stronger man than myself to suffer offal and do the same. Take said rendition of "Englishman," a song that, in its true incarnation, gives the impression that it could break its composure any time it feels like doing so (though of course Sting never feels like doing so). This version is drained of the sense of uncertainty which energizes the song, leaving it pitifully stodgy, depressed, mechanical, and restrained. "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic," on the other hand, sounds like it belongs at a banquet in a Disney tale. "Roxanne" seems refitted for a Richard Gere movie. The original song is about a tragedy. Stripped of emotion, reduced to mechanics, this new "re-imagined" "Roxanne" becomes a tragedy. "She's Too Good for Me," sufficiently amusing on "Ten Summoner's Tales," is now the stuff of (bad) Broadway, and "We Work the Black Seam," portentous enough on his debut, is now nauseating. "I Burn for You," as performed by the Police the defining sexually-charged rock song in my mind, is, as rendered here, worthy of mediocre rom-coms. It could also be a fitting serenade from the nearsighted old man in the Pixar shorts. At least "The End of the Game" is almost pretty, because, and this is the nicest thing I can say about any of these re-imaginings, it's almost a rock song.

The root atrocity of Sting's atrocious "Symphonicities" is that it reduces these songs to compositions. Individuals that don't know the difference between the two, or will argue that there isn't one, may buy the album and may actually enjoy it. There is a difference. "Symphonicities" is garish evidence that one is a form of expression, and the other a form of manufacture. Why Sting has to manufacture anything so lackadaisical with his unearthly fortune is beyond me. Trust me: buying this rot is below you.

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Symphonicities
Details
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Artist: Sting
Genre: Pop, Rock, Classical
Release Date: July 13, 2010
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