Personnel: Sting (vocals, guitar, bass); Cheb Mami, James Taylor, Ste (vocals); Dominic Miller (guitar); B.J. Cole (pedal steel guitar); Katherine Tickell (fiddle, Northumbrian pipes); Gavin Wright, Moulay Ahmed, Koulder Berkan, Salem Bnouni, Sameh Catalan (strings); Branford Marsalis (clarinet); Stevie Wonder (harmonica); Chris Botti (trumpet); Jason Robello (piano, Clavinet); Dave Hartley, Don Blackman (Hammond B-3 organ); Kipper (keyboards, drum programming); Manu Katche, Vinnie Colaiuta (drums); Minu Cinelu (percussion); Joe Mendez, Janice Pendarvis, Althea Rodgers, Marlon Saunders, Veneese Thomas, Darryl Tookes, Ken Williams, Tawatha Agee, Dennis Collins (background vocals); Ettamri Mustapha.
Principally recorded at Il Palagio, Italy and Mega Studios, Paris, France.
BRAND NEW DAY won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Pop Album. "Brand New Day" won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Performance.
Recording information: 1999.
BRAND NEW DAY continues Sting's sophisticated approach toward pop music as he once again collaborates with ace musicians on material that knows no cultural or stylistic boundaries. Not surprisingly, the tantric guru chooses love as the theme for this eclectic collection of songs.
Sting's cross-cultural forays range from a collaboration with Algerian singing sensation Cheb Mami on the Ofra Haza-meets-William Orbit "Desert Rose" to the bossa nova-influenced "Big Lie Small World." There's a jazz patina throughout--guest trumpeter Chris Botti emulates Miles Davis on the coffee-house hip-bop of "Perfect Love...Gone Wrong" and long-time friend Branford Marsalis adds mournful clarinet to the sumptuous string arrangements of the noirish "Tomorrow We'll See," a song about a weary prostitute straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel. Although the upbeat yet moody title track cheerfully rings with Stevie Wonder's bubbly harmonica, Sting's restlessness on "Fill Her Up" truly stands out. The track starts out as a country song (a la "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying") in 9/8 time only to eventually reveal an ambient gospel chorus.
Rolling Stone (10/14/99, p.122) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Sting's most stylistically integrated album since 1987's NOTHING LIKE THE SUN. There's groovy Rai music, witty bossa novas, warm-hearted Bach revisions and independent country, plus a smashing finale..."
Q (1/00, p.87) - Included in Q Magazine's "50 Best Albums of 1999."
Q (11/99, p.132) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...[Its] goodie bag of class-rock, breakbeats, bossa nova, rap, chanson and whatever next gives more the more it's played....Sting can still pull it off....full of vaulting ambition and cat-killing curiosity."
Mojo (Publisher) (11/99, p.108) - "...Sting employs eclectic shadings masterfully and always in the right places....BRAND NEW DAY is big of tune and smart of lyric to the power of 10. Given time, it could be your favorite Sting album ever."