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Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 May 2000


Ten Summoner's Tales
format: 5.1 CD
label: DTS Entertainment
release year: 2000
performance: 8
sound 8.5
reviewed by: Jerry Del Colliano

ImageSting is so consistent. When you flip open the jewel case on the Ten Summoner’s Tales DTS 20 bit CD you see all of the Sting solo and Police albums. There isn’t even a mediocre record on the list. Ten Summoner’s Tales is no exception. Extremely well written, exquisitely recorded with the some of the best musicians in the world, there is no wonder why Ten Summoner’s Tales was such a success.

Ten Summoner’s Tales sets up quite well for a 5.1 mix. The two hits "If I Ever Loose My Faith In You" and "Fields of Gold" provide familiar tunes for those who don’t already own the two channel version of Ten Summoner’s Tales. Both mixes of the hits felt much deeper that the two channel version. There was far less trickery on Ten Summoner’s Tales 5.1 mix than even the 24 bit mix of Sting’s more recent record, Brand New Day. Clearly there are musical elements such as guitars, stings and voices arranged for the rear speakers but the effect is tasteful and subtle resulting in increased depth in sound stage. The mix doesn’t really change the perspective that you listen to music from as you can hear on other earlier DTS mixes.

Deeper into the album you’ll find some gems that never made it to the radio but are worthy of your listening attention. "Love Is Stronger Than Justice" is a strangely catchy tune in 7/8 time which for the non-musician gives the verses a strange swing. The country accompaniment is super tight on "Love Is Stronger Than Justice." The steel guitar which does get mixed into the back speakers, is twangy and engaging in its new location.

Other tunes of note include "Heavy Cloud No Rain" and "Saint Augustine in Hell." On "Saint Augustine in Hell" Sting breaks the song down for a narrated section all about who you might find in hell. It is a humorous break that really pushes the 5.1 surrounds in a way and a place in the record that I found to be very appropriate. The segue back into the track features a scorching sound that brings you right back into the musical direction of Ten Summoner’s Tales. A great test of the resolution and power of your 5.1 system is on "Heavy Cloud No Rain" coming out of the solo section of the tune when the chorus comes back to "heavy cloud but no rain" a cappella track both in front and in the rears. Sting's vocals are all encompassing but pure sounding on the best of systems. The cut can sound blurry on under powered systems.

Ten Summoner’s Tales doesn’t sound as great as the newer 1999 Brand New Day recording in 5.1 however the tunes on the record are more fun and consistent from start to finish. There is no filler on this record and now with new life in 5.1 DTS 20 bit surround you’ve got another great record to add to your collection to light up all of the speakers in your home theater or car audio system.

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