The Soul Cages
After fronting one of the new-wave era's most internationally beloved bands in the Police, the success of Sting's solo career was hardly surprising. What was unusual was the increasingly sophisticated, personally introspective path he traveled after the popularity of his 1985 debut, Dream of the Blue Turtles. While its 1987 follow-up, Nothing Like the Sun was dedicated to his recently deceased mother, this even more somber 1991 release was emotionally rooted in the passing of his father. That theme informs the album's bittersweet pop hit, "All This Time," while troubled familial relationships and sea metaphors fuel "Why Should I Cry for You" and "Island of Lost Souls." The album's second single, the nimble, waltzing parable "Mad About You," is another high point on an album whose dark, personal obsessions mark it as one of Sting's most challenging works.