"Whenever I Say Your Name" won the 2004 Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. "Send Your Love" was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. SACRED LOVE seems like the culmination of a process that began 10 years earlier with Sting's TEN SUMMONER'S TALES album. While his first three solo albums were dense, cerebral affairs, that one began a move towards simplification and broader commercial appeal. While SACRED LOVE's predecessor was perhaps Sting's slickest, most pop-oriented album, this one seems to strike an easy balance between his weighty lyrical concerns and a broad-based, accessible sound. As on his 1999 hit "Desert Rose," Sting uses world rhythms to spice things up here, employing sitar and Middle Eastern percussion on "The Book of My Life." An undercurrent of the R&B feel of BRAND NEW DAY can still be felt here as well, lending ballast to even his airiest harmonic moments. He even reprises the single "Send Your Love" (initially given worldbeat feel) as a percolating electronic dance track at the album's end, and it's perhaps a tribute to his musical facility that it sounds equally effective.
Rolling Stone (12/13/01, p. 150) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "... This is music filled with mood and memory, refined yet raw with emotion.".
Rolling Stone (12/25/03, p. 110) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2003"
Rolling Stone (10/16/03, p. 85) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "... The radiant SACRED LOVE is a vivid and frequently gorgeous reminder that Gordon Sumner is first and foremost a talented singer-songwriter...".
Q (12/01, p. 144) - 3 stars out of 5 - "... The performances here bend towards restraint.... serving as a reminder of the quality of songs such as 'Fields Of Gold' and 'Fragile'..."
Q (10/03, p. 114) - 3 stars out of 5 - "... He knows how to fashion a quality-sounding product for a start: tasteful sitars, flamenco guitars and jazzy pianos are but part of his armoury..."
Mojo (Publisher) (10/03, p. 110) - 3 stars out of 5 - "... The grand design survives on Sting's sheer musical elegance and a sharp eye for surprise... ".
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