Sting has made a career fronting the Police and releasing solo albums that have explored all manner of musical terrain. Recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphonicities is a reinterpretation of Synchronicity. With Sting leading the way, the songs get layered with strings and fleshed out in new ways. For those who expect this to be a bloated project that should be avoided at all costs you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that you’re wrong.
From the beginning it becomes clear that there’s something different now in the way the songs are articulated. “Englishman in New York” takes on a jazz element and sounds like a 1940s standard. “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” turns the upbeat pop number into a slower Elvis Costello-esque ballad. Only every once in a while is there a misstep or an uninteresting rearranging of a song. “Roxanne” is slowed down and has swelling violin added which makes it feel like a schmaltzy piece that belongs on the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack.
Sting has followed many muses on journeys that have produced mixed results. However, he is never anything but sincere and passionate about his projects. Reinterpreting a classic album was a risky undertaking but it managed to payoff enormously.