Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales (1993)

  

Released March 1993

Recorded in Wiltshire

This is a perfectly-crafted, fully realised album from Sting. For many it is his best. I have other favourites of his but it is certainly a good one. It is simply great music - played by top quality musicians, with a soulful, sensitive delivery from an artist who attracts undeserved criticism, in my opinion. These are quality songs and the album is a very pleasurable one. The sound quality on it is superb, too.

“If I Ever Lose My Faith In You” is a perfect opener, catchy, slow-burning. immaculately plaed with great sound. “Love Is Stronger Than Justice” is a Springsteen-esque song, lyrically, with a rocking country-ish beat and some excellent bluesy guitar and organ interjections throughout. The track rocks, convincingly. There is an excellent bass, piano and drum interplay at the end too. The stand out track is, of course, the stunning, sublime, incredibly moving “Fields of Gold”. The vocal delivery is outstanding, as is the acoustic guitar, keyboards and Northumbrian pipes backing. A strong contender for Sting’s best ever song.

“Heavy Cloud No Rain” is a deliciously bassy, pulsating, bluesy number. “She’s To Good For Me” is also bluesy, but fast, breakneck blues this time. “Seven Days” returns to a more typical, mournful-sounding Sting sound and thoughtful lyrics.

“Saint Augustine in Hell” is a shuffling, funky jazz number that rides on an effortless groove with a strong, gruff vocal. The strange spoken vocal bit half way through, however, is completely incongruous and bizarre, but it kicks back into a great organ break, thankfully. “It’s Probably Me” (co-written with Eric Clapton) has some delicious jazzy saxophone and an entrancing, syncopated slow rhythm. The bass is subtly beautifu too. Sting’s vocal is laid-back and suited to the song. “Everybody Laughed But You” is a solid, bassy and jazzy in parts laid-back number, with a Spanish-sounding acoustic guitar underpinning it too, and a great solo piece. There is a convincing soulfulness to Sting’s voice on this one.

"Shape Of My Heart" is another slow and soulful number, with a captivating percussion sound. “Something The Boy Said” has a captivating, deep bass line and a soulful laid-back, vaguely haunting melody, backed by some lovely saxophone. “Epilogue (Nothing ‘Bout Me)” is a deliciously jazzy, lively number to end the album on. A most enjoyable listen.

B


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