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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Sting - 25 Years' [3CD + DVD] (UMe)
Artist - Sting

Sting: 25 Years is the just-released definitive box-set collection that features three CDs - comprised of 45 remastered tracks personally curated by Sting - a previously unreleased live concert DVD, and a comprehensive hardcover book.

This truly stunning, well-crafted retrospective captures for the first time both the highlights and rarities of Sting's enduring solo career.

And so, this musical (and visual come the end) all-encompassing box-set kicks off with the passionate 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free,' before the calypso-infused 'Love Is The Seventh Wave' comes forth. Next is the quietly personal, sax-fused 'Consider Me Gone,' before the sultry city smoke of 'Moon Over Bourbon Street.' The groovy 'Fortress Around Your Heart' is next, before a trio of live tracks: 'Bring On The Night' (an 11 minute track complete with delicious piano interlude not to mention a rap too!), 'Driven To Tears' (complete with extended sax), and 'I Burn For You,' complete with acoustic guitar ending.

Back into studio track central, and 'Be Still My Beating Heart' is next, before the haunting 'They Dance Alone.' The always fun, always trippy 'Englishman In New York' dances its way along next, before the musical fragility of, well, 'Fragile.' The poppy bounce of 'We'll Be Together' is next, before both another sax-fused 'Sister Moon' and the piano styled 'Secret Marriage' (from the brilliant Nothing Like The Sun album) bring the first CD to a close.

The mandolin-vibed 'All This Time' kicks off the second CD in fine, upbeat style with 'Mad About You' and 'Why Should I Cry For You?' following close behind. The stirring 'The Soul Cages' is next with (an uninspired and over-long, for my money, sorry!) 'When The Angels Fall' backed by the totally inspirational, and soaring 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You.'

The seductive 'Fields Of Gold,' 'Seven Days,' and the sweeping simplicity of the self-confessing 'It's Probably Me,' are all next, with the orchestral beauty of 'Shape Of My Heart,' the choral, dulcet even 'When We Dance,' and the heavier, possibly even personally-tinged 'I Hung My Head' all next. The angelic 'I Was Brought To My Senses,' and 'You Still Touch Me' are next, with the country-tinged 'I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying' bringing the second disc to a close.

The third disc begins with the somber 'A Thousand Years,' before kicking up steam with the panoramic Indian-themed 'Desert Rose,' sung with Cheb Mami. The recurrent 'Ghost Story' is next, with the pop sway of 'Brand New Day' backing it up. The nothing-like-Sting-usually-does techno-fused 'Send Your Love' is next, with the soulful 'Whenever I Say Your Name' and 'Stolen Car (Take Me Dancing)' from his 2003 album Sacred Love thereafter.

The deep vocals of 'Soul Cake,' inclusive of the Christmas Is Coming children’s rhyme comes next with the depressing 'The Hounds Of Winter' and the frantic 'Next To You' both next in line. The tale-telling 'We Work The Black Sea' plods out before 'The Pirate's Bride,' a beautiful track from the album Symphonicities. The fleet 'Never Coming Home' is next with live versions of the brilliantly atmospheric 'Russians' and finally 'The End Of The Game' wrapping up the three CDs.

The fourth disc contains: 1. Message In A Bottle (Live), 2. Demolition Man (Live), 3. Synchronicity II (Live), 4. Driven To Tears (Live), 5. Heavy Cloud, No Rain (Live), 6. A Day In The Life (Live), 7. Voices Inside My Head/When The World Is Running Down (Live), 8. Roxanne (Live), 9. Next To You (Live), and 10. Lithium Sunset (Live).

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk

Box-Set Purchase Link