When I read that this was the first album of self-penned original music that Sting has recorded in a decade I was shocked. It didn’t seem like it had been that long that he had been away. The man has been on most people’s pop rock radar for over thirty years now between his solo work and that with The Police. Despite all this time within an industry that tends to chew artists up and chew them out he has endured. Maybe it is due to his ability to change along with the times and write music that connects with an audience of listeners. There is a story behind this collection of music. It was written for a play based on the shipping industry in his hometown of Newcastle. The industry has fallen apart and left a broken economy in its wake. Other themes of life and death, fatherhood, self-discovery and the sense of community are interwoven throughout so it is not so specific a music landscape, rather it is a more universal one. Because it is meant for a play that means there is plenty of immediate and accessible emotion. Sting has always done drama well. He shows in several of the songs that he still has that ability to captivate with his well chosen words and raspy voice. Listen to it several times before judging as it will take a few times through to sink in. Well recorded, arranged and produced.