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The Soul Cages [Enhanced]

Sting Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 15.68 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The Soul Cages + Nothing Like The Sun + The Dream of the Blue Turtles
Price For All Three: CDN$ 41.53

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Product Details

1. Island Of Souls
2. All This Time
3. Mad About You
4. Jeremiah Blues (Part 1)
5. Why Should I Cry For You
6. Saint Agnes And The Burning Train
7. The Wild Wild Sea
8. The Soul Cages
9. When The Angels Fall

Product Description

Product Description


The somber, personal Soul Cages is a testament to Sting's strength as a storyteller. Each song creates its own dark, lonely world with recurring themes of sea, ships, and filial love. The album opens with the wistful, virtually mist-drenched "Island of Souls," a tale of a shipbuilder's son orphaned by an accident who dreams of the open sea. Later, that sea becomes a prison for a lovelorn sailor in "Why Should I Cry for You?" Throughout, Sting dispenses with the conventions of pop lyrical structure. Saxophones, oboe, and Northumbrian pipes reinforce the folksy feel of the instrumentation. Arguably the best song on the album, "Mad About You" is a mystical ballad about a king who has everything except the woman he loves. Grand, elegiac, and allegorical, Soul Cages stands as one of Sting's most downcast recordings, and one of his most compelling. --Courtney Kemp

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pinnacle of Sting's Illustrious Career Feb. 17 2004
Format:Audio CD
After erasing doubts that he could float in a post-Police world with two solid solo albums, Sting entered a period of grief-induced writer's block caused by the death of his father, whose approval and affection Sting had always sought but never received. It took finally facing up to the ghost of his father, and making amends with him. This is what we see on The Soul Cages, a brilliant marriage of pain, regret, sorrow and finally emotional liberation. This albums reads and plays like a beautiful, sad novel; one that takes more than one read to really understand. With Sting's father as the main thematic focal point, Northumbrian Pipes open "Island of Souls," where the story of Billy and his shipbuilding father is told. This long elegy subtly displays Sting's musical prowess, with a strange time signature (classic Sting) and a dark, brooding vocal. Next is "All This Time," one of Sting's most popular songs. It also tells the story of a man and his father, and the gap between them, but it is veiled and never obvious. This album can be very mysterious and difficult to uncover, but it is most definitely worth the effort. "Mad About You" and "Jeremiah Blues" stray from the father/son theme, but provide more of Sting's brilliant arrangements and storytelling (Mad About You is about King David and his desire to be with Bathsheba). The next track highlights the emotional climax and despair of the album: "Why Should I Cry For You?" is by far the most moving song here. The depth of the lyrics (full of nautical references and symbolism regarding his father and he) will move the listener, and it is here that you begin to truly understand the struggle inside the songwriter. This song is so heavy that Sting has admitted he placed the beautiful instrumental "St. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sting's most introspective work July 3 2003
Format:Audio CD
The Soul Cages (1991) came out nearly four years after "...Nothing Like the Sun" and folks had been wondering when he would release another set of new music. This disk did not have an immediate impact like his earlier solo work, but I find that these songs have much more depth, and pardon the usage, soul.
Sting was dealing with the death of his father, and that is reflected in these songs. The lyrics are full of father/son stories, images of fathers, and men working as shipbuilders, fishermen, and sailors. There are powerful metaphors of ships and the sea. This is a disk to be listened to when spending a winter weekend on a coastal shore when storms blow across the water and surf pounds the shore.
Sting's band is mostly the same cast as previous efforts, the modern jazzmen Manu Katche on drums, Kenny Kirkland on keys and Branford Marsalis on saxophone. An important addition is Dominic Miller on guitar, and there is more guitar overall than other Sting disks.
While the disk is uniformly strong throughout, there are some key tracks that I particularly enjoy.
"Island of Souls" is a rather dark leadoff song, but the lyric of a boy losing his father in a shipbuilding accident, and the boy's dreams of escape are very powerful.
"All This Time" is the top 'single' from this disk, the one you hear on the radio from time to time, and as catchy as anything Sting has ever written. Listening to the lyrics, however, you realize that this is about a visit by a couple priests come to give last rites over a father, and the narrator's wish to bury the old man at sea. Wonderful imagery with lines like "fussing and flapping in priestly black/like a murder of crows."
"The Wild Wild Sea" is driven by Miller's guitar, and the timing of Sting's vocal.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Arguably his best solo work March 21 2003
Format:Audio CD
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite albums EVER!!!! Nov. 29 2002
Format:Audio CD
I've got some time on my hands (Imagine that) and I haven't written a review in probably a year so I thought why not review one of my favorite cd's of ALL time. I remember when I bought this cd (the Tuesday it was released back in '91) putting it in the tray and thinking "What has he gone & done now?" Needless to say, this disc took at least 3 listens before I could even tolerate it. But gradually, low & behold, this audio soundscape began to reveal it's subtle beauty. TSC is clearly Sting's darkest piece to date and understandabley so. This album was released around 2 years after the death of his parent with some of the material being written during or shortly after their passing. This album has a continuity to it that none of his other releases approaches. This is in some respects a concept album with the open sea, mid-eastern social structuring and religion serving as recurring themes among others. From the opening track to the closer, the tracks flow w/ a sense of opening, structure and closing. The music is dark, w/ considerable treatment from the Ulean (spelling?) pipes. Lyrcally, Sting is once again on top of the game forging political, religious and social commentary with a hint of satire. His use of rhyme, reason, alliteration, near rhyme, syncopation and tact are brilliant here (as always). If your looking for a cd to pop in and clean the house, this isn't for you. If your looking to sit back with a pot of coffee or bottle of wine and immerse yourself into a truly emotive body of work, then get this disc and listen to it again and again. Just save the close listening sessions until you've become familiar with this piece. Remember, this one takes repeated sessions before it STARTS to really grow on you. But then again, so do all truly beautiful recordings. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value!
Showed up in perfect condition! I've been hunting high and low for this CD. I'm glad to own it again.
Published 6 months ago by Isabel Matwawana
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful and original
I bought this album years after it came out, having only heard "All This Time" and "Why Should I cry for you. Read more
Published on May 22 2004 by brian phillips
3.0 out of 5 stars Not fun to listen to.
Nor is it supposed to be, I guess. After two relatively upbeat and joyful records, Sting puts together one of the saddest albums I think I have ever heard. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by M J Heilbron Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Sting's Best
I'm always amazed at the number of people who confess to liking Sting but never heard this album. As highly as I think of his newest cd this one still is the top of the heap. Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2004 by Rollie Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars it resonates and haunts long after it's done
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by CT music fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Stages of Grief and The Soul Cages
I love this record and was just reading the reviews for amusement. The one thing I haven't seen anyone mention is the direct corelation between The Soul Cages and the 5 stages of... Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2004 by Carl Meadows
5.0 out of 5 stars By Far the best Sting ever has made
This CD I bought when it came out, and was shocked at the harsh atmosphere. But I liked it, and it is very good to hear. I recommend this cd over any in his catalog. Read more
Published on May 21 2003 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars the best Sting album (why does tragedy make beautiful music)
In my view, Sting overcomes personal tragedies to make very beautiful music. "The Soul Cages" is for the most part a dark record, but still very beautiful. Read more
Published on April 6 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Sting's Best
_The Soul Cages_ can almost be considered the "lost" Sting album. His least commercially successful, it only yielded one "hit" ("All This Time") and its depressing nature seemed... Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2002 by Kevin Caffrey
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