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Music Review: Sting & Shaggy - 44/876

stingshaggy

It’s an unlikely pairing—one is a member of English rock royalty, the other a Jamaican superstar—but it works. “We both have ridiculous names,” jokes Sting, born Gordon Sumner, while Shaggy, born Orville Burrell, cites the two musicians’ shared love of reggae music as the bond. The pair’s island-inspired album, named after the British and Jamaican dialling codes, is a sunny delight. It opens with the title track, a dancehall number featuring Shaggy, best known for hits like “Oh Carolina” and “Boombastic,” toasting about rice and peas and Sting singing about Bob Marley. There are moments of genuine fun, on the infectious “Don’t Make Me Wait,” and of pure drama, on the courtroom-themed “Crooked Tree,” where Sting plays a criminal and Shaggy the judge. Other highlights include the driving “Dreaming in the USA,” an expression of love for the culture of their adopted homeland, and the bouncy “To Love and Be Loved.” Sting and Shaggy: pop’s new bromance.

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