Sting's been on a creative tear since the Police reunion. He's probably washing away some of the dirt that cashing in that mega-paycheque left on his soul. First it was his "seasonal album" of obscure traditional folk tunes (not to be confused with a Xmas offering, though it came out last December), and now this collaboration with London's Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
You expect the worst from Police faves like Roxanne and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, since those tunes were tautly written, with minimal pop intricacy. But the RPCO adds an interesting melancholic layer to the former, giving it more drama, as orchestras tend to do. Every Little Thing was upbeat to begin with, but the symphonic flourishes make it almost too sprightly. Sting's post-Police Englishman In New York is the album's biggest winner, adding a genuine Gershwin feel to Sting's fish-out-of-water tale.
Top track: Englishman In New York
Sting brings Symphonicities to Molson Amphitheatre Friday (July 23).