An Irish shanty story song title track opens Stingâ€™s The Last Ship, a collection of tunes that will be debuted in 2014 as a Broadway musical inspired by the ex-Police frontmanâ€™s time growing up.Â I like the jaunty, jazzy feel and Stingâ€™s fantastic vocals on â€œAnd Yet”; it gets all heavy with crashy drums and wild organ flight. â€œAugust Windâ€ is a pretty angelic, acoustic ballad, while â€œShow Some Respectâ€ is all cutting, loud Sting singing through a big exposition Broadway number.
In many instances here, Sting sings “in character,” which is not in and of itself a bad thing, but as standalone songs, Iâ€™m not sure weâ€™re getting Stingâ€™s best on his 11th solo album. (My main complaint with Cyndi Lauperâ€™s songs for Kinky Boots or Bono and The Edgeâ€™s writing for Spiderman, is that the songs these rock icons write for these musicalsâ€¦just arenâ€™t good songs.)
â€œWhat Have We Got?,” besides having the unique pipes of Jimmy Nail dueting with Sting, is a big, loud Irish stopmer that opens into a musical production, more than a tune. However, â€œI Love Her But She Loves Someone Elseâ€ is a deep, dark ballad with Sting singing probably his best ever.
The Deluxe Edition has five additional tracks, including a jaunty â€œShipyardâ€ with Jimmy Nail, Jo Lawry and AC/DCâ€™s Brian Johnson. This one works well through the “character” singing because of the multiple voices. â€œItâ€™s Not The Same Moonâ€ sees Stingâ€™s sexy breathy vocal over acoustic and cello -Â a very pretty song to be sure. â€œSky Hooks and Tartan Paint,â€ again with Brian Johnson aboard, is a great rockinâ€™ tune, the first really of all of these to feature an electric guitar.
As a big Broadway-bound show a-comin’, this could be good, bad or mediocre. As a collection of new songs, Stingâ€™sÂ The Last Ship is OK at best.