Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985)

Sting’s solo debut, Dream of the Blue Turtles (1985) is an 80’s album, but is what I call alternative pop music, rather than bubble gum pop. The artist, Sting, had been doing The Police for several years then released his first solo record. Opens with the infectious (less so today) If You Love Somebody Set Them Free, which has Sting singing about something thoughtful in an accessible package for mainstream listeners. Love is the Seventh Wave follows, a spirited reggae-styled political song. Russians is the highlight of the first half of the album, with its clear, distinctive voice on prejudice and Cold War paranoia, that’s musically compelling, followed by Children’s Crusade and a steady list of quietly assured tracks, while inserting the idiosyncratic title track, ending with the powerful Fortress Around Your Heart. Unremarkable stuff, but quietly assured, with a few highlights.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

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