The Last Ship is Sting's first album of new material he wrote himself in a decade, and it continues his effort to find fresh ways to connect with his audience. It's a collection of songs for an original play about the destruction of the shipping industry in Newcastle, the English port city where he grew up, as well as a meditation on mortality, community and fatherhood. The ballad "I Love Her but She Loves Someone Else" evokes the erotic despair that he has always found seductive, and even with orchestration the arrangements are spare and haunting. The play won't open until next year, so for now all the drama in these songs is internal, and all the more riveting for that.
From The Archives Issue 1193: October 10, 2013