Picks and Pans Review: The Dream of the Blue Turtles

updated 07/08/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/08/1985 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Sting

The lyrics are penetrating enough to make you think of Yeats. The voice sounds like a more thoughtful Rod Stewart. The music is an unpredictable combination of rock, jazz and socially conscious folk. The man behind this remarkably passionate, thoughtful album is, of course, on leave from the Police. But nothing the Police have done—as entertaining as the group is—could have prepared anyone for this distinctive album. The songs, all written by Sting, are filled with allusions to nuclear war, pollution, despair and other concerns of our era. In the reggaeish Love Is the Seventh Wave, he sings of "All the bloodshed, all the anger/ All the armies, all the missiles." In Consider Me Gone, he comments, "The search for perfection is all very well/But to look for heaven is to live here in hell." Sting avoids pretension with bitingly energetic and wide-ranging music. There are splendid contributions from keyboardist Kenny Kirkland and especially saxophonist Branford Marsalis, whose solos offer annotations to the lyrics. Sting also demonstrates a sly sense of humor. He ends Seventh Wave with a comment on a Police pop hit, idly singing, "With every breath you take/Every move you make/Every cake you bake/Every leg you break." His more serious moments are impressive too, as in the evocative Moon Over Bourbon Street: "The brim of my hat hides the eye of a beast/I've the face of a sinner but the hands of a priest." This album will set minds to spinning and toes to tapping. It adds a new dimension to the fierce appeal of its creator. (A&M)

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