|Sting - Brand New Day|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Jerry Del Colliano|
|Tuesday, 28 September 1999|
As a hack guitar player, it is my God-given right to ignore lyrics and focus on the melodic elements of my favorite music. With that said, I can’t remember a record that had me reaching for the lyric sheet more often than this one.
I assume that Sting is still with Trudy and I hope he is still lasting four-plus hours in bed. Strangely, this record is predominantly themed on losing love, having love stolen from you and the irrational things we’ll do to get it back. Sting uses the pain and joy associated with love, perhaps a human being’s most powerful emotion, as a canvas for his new record Brand New Day with results that are both musically well crafted and lyrically powerful. I’d say the Jobim-esque "Big Lie Small World" was the best cut on the record other than the fact that, for the first few times I listened to it, I was actually emotionally upset by the scorn lover’s stupidity depicted on in the song. The foolish behavior Sting sings of on this song reminds me, too closely, of the foolish things we’ll do to get a lost lover back. I think Sting just hit a little too close to home.
Musically, Sting seems to be moving towards Peter Gabriel's style of world-influenced pop. The songs and styles range from country to Brazilian to VH1-friendly pop. Brand New Day is far from a Sting duet record, but some of the heavy-hitting accompanying players include Branford Marsalis, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Manu Katche (Peter Gabriel’s Drummer) and Chris Botti. The production quality is ultra-high, as you would expect from a big budget record like Brand New Day. The instrumentation and layering give you a complex and compelling sound. Pair that with the variety of musical styles Sting takes on with Brand New Day, you’ve got a record with almost as much staying power as those of Barry White.
Thankfully, the title track on "Brand New Day" addresses the positive side of love. With a happy Hollywood ending, Brand New Day is not a completely new direction or sound for Sting. However, if you are looking for a well-made, highly polished pop record that takes on the volatile subject matter of love, Brand New Day is for you.