I have a love-hate relationship with Sting. Sure, he writes decent songs, and sure, he is the most succesfull ex-member of the Police in his solo career, but while with the Police, he was the least talented, and in his post-Police career, he is still the least talented performer in whatever stable he assembles about himself. All that having been said, however, two things remain constant: the man knows how to write songs, and he consistantly gathers the best musicians to play them. To me, "The Soul Cages" represents a turing point in Sting's career; before this, he was - if not a tad stiff - at least affable, even likeable and sincere. After this, his head would start to swell, and his both his musical writing style and lyrics would become bombastic, self-indulgently intellectual (or overly sentimental, take your pick), and almost unbearably snide. Such is the Sting of "Ten Summoners Tales" (where the above-mentioned qualities started to manifest themselves full-force), "Mercury Fallng" and "A Brand New Day." With "The Soul Cages," however, we get a Sting that is brooding, musing, in pain - yet still modest enough to sing about it simply and plainly. Sure, the disc can drag on a bit in spots, but overall, its an enjoyable experiance.