After the limp and lifeless Mercury Falling, Sting returned to the public eye in late 1999 with Brand New Day. Dare I say, Brand New Day is worse.
Writers block was never something to plague Sting's abilities in the past having been able to craft five Police albums and four great solo albums. But Mercury Falling and Brand New Day represent a new low for the man where he not only relies on other musicians and producers for ideas, but manages to make a slew of ill-advised choices.
For example, take the song Perfect Love Gone Wrong. Normally, this would be an acceptable song thanks to its funky back-beat and counter-melody played by a muted trumpet. But then comes in the French rap. Oh my word. Holy smokes. This can't be happening. What on earth would make someone commit that to tape, listen to the playback and say "yeah, let's keep that."?
The rest of Brand New Day, like its predecessor, is sorely lacking in songwriting color and flavor. Tomorrow We'll See is way too wordy and convoluted for the social commentary it strives for. Instead, Roxanne from 1978 shows how Sting accomplished the same idea in fewer words. Songs like Ghost Story, After The Rain Has Fallen, A Thousand Years, and the title track fail to make any impression on you at all, whether it be good or bad.
Desert Rose sounds like more of an effort than an inclination to incorporate a middle-eastern sound into Sting's music. Buried within the mix of all the drums, all the singing, and all the swirling instruments, this song has no soul to it. Fill Her Up is nonsense. Country to gospel to jazz within one song, and all of them sound pretty bad. The hoaky vocal cameos do nothing but hurt it even more. And Prelude To The End Of The Game is just a waste.
Mercury Falling, strike one. Brand New Day, strike two. After I heard Sacred Love? I'm sorry man, you're out.