Another stellar outing for Sting. He's creating a body of work of outstanding quality.
This album, typically neglected, should rise in standing with time.
With this album, Sting brings back the horn section he flirted with back in the era of "Ghost In The Machine". There are no barn-burners or roof-raisers; in fact the tempo is downright plodding for most of the record.
It doesn't affect it as much as you might think.
The opening salvo of "The Hounds of Winter" and "I Hung My Head" amble along with enough melodic prettiness and lyrical inventiveness to keep you from hitting the skip button.
"Let My Soul Be Your Pilot" is a bit of a retread, sorry to say, and it's the one song I liked better before, but less so as time passes.
On the other hand, I feel like an idiot for missing 'I Was Brought To My Senses"! This is another one of Sting's perfect combos of melody, rhythm and grace. "Graceful" is not a word you hear a lot in modern rock music. This song is definitely worth a listen if that description piques your interest. I recently heard this song live, and I scurried back to the album to see what I've missed. Turns out a lot.
"You Still Touch Me" is OK, but the nasal bray is not used to it's best effect here.
The pinnacle of the album is the one-two punch of "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying" and "All Four Seasons". The former is one of his best story songs, coupled with a simple countryish backdrop and a great chorus.
"All Four Seasons" has to be a lost Stax/Volt or Motown outtake. It just has to be. I loved this song the first time I heard it. It's a great lazy summer afternoon song.
The rest of the album is OK, but "Lithium Sunset" is a great album closer. Just great. Again, a simple tune performed midtempo without frills, but memorable...and great in concert.