Symphonicities

Who would have guessed that Sting's most exciting album in years would be a set of orchestral remakes? Symphonicities rocks hard from the outset, with a wallop of cellos and violins replacing the staccato guitars of the early Police song "Next to You." The most inspired moments are the whimsical ones: the harp-and-flute intro to "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," the lush treatment of "Roxanne," and an "Englishman in New York" that's more playful than the original. Sting has shown he's a rocker who knows how to scale up.