Sacred Love

Aging English pop singer Sting is back with a new album for the Starbucks-drinking/VH1 demographic. The most frightening part of this is that I kind of enjoy the album—a tell-tale sign that my 10-year high-school reunion must be on the horizon. Sacred Love was inspired by—what else?—Sept. 11. Fortunately, Sting tries to make us think about how we interact with each other rather than flood the album with more patriotic messages. He sticks to his strengths here, with more of his trademark haunting melodies on “The Book of My Life” and romantic lyrics (“Whenever I say your name…that day will last forever”) and dense textures. Sting also makes good use of his recent device of putting traditional Indian instruments on top of programmed loops (he is the tantric one, after all) and effects. This disc may not be for everyone, but those of us who enjoy talking about the finer points of a cable-knit cardigan over a warm fat-free latte should find it comforting.