Sting scored a moderate comeback success greater than most had imagined possible with 1999's Brand New Day , reestablishing himself as a viable commercial artist instead of merely settling for "living legend" status. Part of this success was due to &"Desert Rose," featuring vocalist Farhat Bouallagui 's careening cadences that garnered attention, particularly when they were showcased in a car commercial that kicked the album into high commercial gear. Sting picks up on this, adding three guest vocalists to the ten-track Sacred Love album (the 11th track is a remix of the lead single, &"Send Your Love" -- which happens to be better, since it eliminates the rather annoying Indian-styled hook) -- Vicente Amigo and Anoushka Shankar are paired with Mary J. Blige , who in this context is presented as a world music artist. Although Sacred Love is too meticulous, predictable, and focused on its own artistic maturity, it manifests professionalism, precision, and impeccable craft as an album of well-tailored, expensive mood music. [This edition includes the bonus track &"Shape of My Heart." ] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
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- February 24, 2004
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