With a country flavor, “Fill Her Up” tells of a gas station attendant who reconsiders robbing his boss, realizing that the money would only bring shame and pain to the woman in his life (a voice recommends giving her love and Jesus instead). Expressions of romantic love inhabit “Desert Rose,” “Ghost Story” and “Brand New Day.”
Dubious theology leads Sting to ponder who he was in previous lives (“A Thousand Years”). Reincarnation gets another nod on “Tomorrow We’ll See,” a song that clemently refers to prostitution as just another career choice. As she’s being robbed, a princess begs the desert thief to take her with him, preferring a life of crime to an arranged marriage (“After the Rain Has Fallen”). Rap interludes pump up “Perfect Love . . . Gone Wrong,” on which Sting imagines himself as a dog able to urinate on and kill his woman’s new lover (“He’d be my favorite lamppost . . . I’d like to put him in a casket/I’ll wear my best collar to his funeral”). Disappointing.
Sixteen years after penning his last hit for The Police, Gordon “Sting” Sumner keeps adding to his solo credits. Having won yet another Grammy, it would appear every little thing he does is magic. But despite refreshing musical variety and the heavy dose of moral conscience on “Fill Her Up,” this CD falls short. A much better option for young fans would be Sting’s 1996 triumph, Mercury Falling.