STING — Duets

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2.50 | 1 rating | 1 review
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Boxset / Compilation · 2021

Filed under Pop/Art Song/Folk
By STING

Tracklist

1. Little Something with Melody Gardot
2. It's Probably Me with Eric Clapton
3. Stolen Car with Mylène Farmer
4. Desert Rose with Cheb Mami
5. Rise & Fall with Craig David
6. Whenever I Say Your Name with Mary J. Blige
7. Don't Make Me Wait with Shaggy
8. Reste with GIMS
9. We'll Be Together with Annie Lennox
10. L'amour C'est Comme Un Jour with Charles Aznavour
11. My Funny Valentine with Herbie Hancock
12. Fragile with Julio Iglesias
13. Mama with Gashi
14. September with Zucchero
15. Practical Arrangement with Jo Lawry
16. None Of Us Are Free with Sam Moore
17. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning with Chris Botti

Line-up/Musicians

About this release

UMC / Polydor 3536499

Track 1 from Sunset in the Blue – Decca 742561, 2020
Track 2 from Lethal Weapon 3: Music from the Motion Picture – Elektra 26989, 1992
Track 3 from Interstellaires – Polydor (France) 475 985-4, 2015
Track 4 from Brand New Day – A&M 490 425-2, 1999
Track 5 from Slicker Than Your Average – Wildstar CDWILD42, 2002
Track 6 from Sacred Love – A&M B0001141-02, 2003
Track 7 from 44/876 – A&M/Interscope/Cherrytree B0028176-02, 2018
Track 8 from Ceinture Noire – Play Two/Chahawat/Indifference Pod/Sony Music (France) 19075945412, 2019
Track 9 from Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (The Original Soundtrack) – Geffen B0003566-02, 2004
Track 10 from Duos – Odeon (France) 50999 243682 2 3, 2008
Track 11 from My Funny Valentine: At the Movies – A&M (Japan) UICA-4001, 2005
Track 12 from Crazy – CBS/Sony (Spain) 474738, 1994
Track 13 from 1984 – RCA, 2020
Track 14 previously unreleased
Track 15 from The Last Ship: Deluxe Edition – A&M/Cherrytree B0018722-02, 2013
Track 16 from Overnight Sensational – Rhino R2 77618, 2006
Track 17 from Slowing Down the World – GRP 314 547 301-2, 1999

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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Members reviews

Matti P
Sting has been among my fave artists ever since my teenage years when The Police frontman started his solo career, but frankly I have minor interest towards his more recent output. I very strongly prefer the first three albums, and I even find the mid-period albums such as Brand New Day (1999) and Sacred Love (2003) rather boring.

Although my expectations for this compilation of duets recorded over the years weren't very high, I was initially surprised of how bad most of this stuff sounded to my ears; this is the question of the production style, no duet partners are to be blamed. [BTW, the CD's inner cover features Sting's brief liner notes for each performance which is nice, but I miss more accurate info about the original releases of these duets.] In short, too many tracks sound like lazy modern r&b with a sticky beat, starting from the opener 'Little Something' with Melody Gardot. Artists such as Mary J. Blige or Shaggy don't make me expect something else in the first place. Take for instance 'Rise & Fall' with Craig David: I truly hate that r&b thumping. I like Mylene Farmer's cute vocals in French on 'Stolen Car' but the Sacred Love song itself is quite poor and the sonic production in this version awful.

Annie Lennox is one of the collaborators I generally appreciate as individual artists, but alas, I have never liked the Nothing Like the Sun track 'We'll Be Together', and this version is even worse. The world music oriented 'Desert Rose' f. Cheb Mami was released on Brand New Day. All in all the 17-track set list offers only a few songs familiar from Sting's discography, and mostly not well chosen from my point of view, either. One of my personal highlights is 'Fragile' beautifully dueted with Julio Iglesias. The set's earliest recording 'It's Probably Me' (1992, f. Eric Clapton on guitar) exceptionally predates the album version on Ten Summoner's Tales (1993) and is clearly poorer.

So, the first half of this CD was a disappointment for me especially for the r&b sounds, but things get notably better towards the end. Who's not to like the chanson ballad 'L'amour c'est comme un Jour' with Charles Aznavour, or the jazz ballad 'My Funny Valentine' featuring Herbie Hancock on piano? I also enjoy 'September', Sting's collaboration with Zucchero. The final piece is a decent version of 'In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning' featuring the trumpet of Chris Botti.

The "Duets" album was meant to be released in november 2020 but was delayed due to covid-19. The same release date, 19 March 2021, saw also the digital-only release of 'Englishman/African in New York' f. Shirazee, and IMHO that track should have been included on this album as well. My rating remains pretty low, estimated against Sting's overall discography. But remember, my ratings for his latest studio albums would hardly be much better.

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