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“DD Review: Sting/Shaggy – 44/876.”

Score: 0/876

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I still remember the exact moment I realized that Sting wasn’t as lame as like Michael Bolton, or someone like that — my friend had this best of The Police disc cranking in his car and pretty much every tune was a rollicking success. What’s more, each of the songs was a little different from the others, providing constant freshness and variety, with possible exceptions of the somewhat justified-in-similarity “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” and “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” [1].
And I’ll admit I’m as guilty as the next guy: when I saw that Sting and Shaggy were doing an album together my initial response was charmed amusement, instead of the compunction before the obvious that should have mentally materialized, given all The Police’s forays into West Indian styles (“Walking on the Moon” being possibly the primary reference point for this).
But for all this sort of career obviousness on their parts doing this album, still, nothing could measure up to the awfulness of putting this album on and hearing that it’s not in any way dark, tense, creative, edgy, or experimental in anyway: it’s absolutely atrocious pop goop. What’s more, good God is Shaggy’s voice annoying, a tactic which in the past was used sparingly as a sort of novelty, now given absolutely tragic stylistic authority over these little Lily Allen warm-overs which are like Bruno Mars without the intimidation factor.
Shaggy’s voice comes in spewing utter inanities on opener “44/876” (named after the album which is named after telephone codes of Britain and Jamaica… can we just get Atlantic Bell to ban this combination indefinitely?) and Sting comes in whining about politics. POLITICS [2]. That’s the best you can do, Sting? He could at least have the balls to come out and say his girlfriend dumped him. Well, she probably didn’t dump him and that’s the exact problem.
Ok, so I want at least some banging on the bathroom floor, or something. Can I just get some good ol’ fashioned smut, like The Vaselines would say? Ok, I’m gonna skip these two songs about morning, especially since I only get up before noon when I have to go to my anger management class… here’s a song about his baby. Shaggy’s singing in that annoying voice about having to get back to his baby. Well, considering his baby was probably a cocker spaniel in the first place, that shouldn’t be that hard. Maybe he can consult his producer, who taught him how to not play an instrument.
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[1] Yes, do not adjust your computer screen: that really is the name of this song. Actually, it’s not that bad. No, really.
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[2] I don’t buy this umbrage before the morality of government card one bit: even Kamasi Washington, arguably the greatest musician in America today, stated in a Rolling Stone interview that politics don’t matter in songwriting, giving way instead to “how he shows love to his brother.”

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