As good as some of his other solo efforts are, this is my favorite. Yes, it's his darkest record and in some ways, the most un-Sting like he's made. As bad as a metaphor as this might be, the album keeps coming on relentlessly like the sea he evokes and builds to a musical peak on the title track. Whether it was the need to say the unsaid to his recently passed away father or simply say goodbye, there's an underlying emotion that drives the album with no letup. It's passionate, melancholic, tinged with regret and even a little anger, and holds together as a whole work better than anything else he's done (including "synchronicity").
It's not for everyone. If you're attached to Ten summoners (a terrific record as well), it's quite the opposite and might be a tough listen. But if it's for you, it's immensely rewarding.