Recording information: Avatar Studios, NYC (2014); Jrock Studios, New York, NY (2014).
Editor: Jamie Siegel.
Photographers: Joan Marcus; Matt Murphy .
Arranger: Rob Mathes.
Sting's solo recording of The Last Ship was his finest album of the new millennium, so it stands to reason that the 2014 Original Broadway Cast recording of the musical would also be strong, as it contains many of the same bones as the 2013 rendition. Indeed, the OBC version of The Last Ship is also very good, although it naturally displays a different character. Certainly, this cast recording has a more theatrical bent, both in its execution and in its pacing -- the songs are in a different order and a few older Sting hits punctuate the newer tunes, serving a bit as an anchor for the audience -- and that naturally draws attention to Sting's subtler skills as a writer, both in the short and long term. Song by song, the album is sturdy, but what's more impressive is the cumulative effect, how the songs intertwine and enliven their companions, drawing a compelling and subtly moving narrative. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine