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Sting: Nothing Like The Sun (DTS CD)
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SOUND: "Nothing Like The Sun" is the reunion of the highly talented producer David Tickle with Sting. The previous outing for the two was the DTS presentation of Sting's latest, "Brand New Day", a DTS CD presentation that is often used as demonstration material for the format. "Nothing Like The Sun" is Sting's 1987 release and, as with the majority of Tickle's work re-positioning a wealth of albums from different genres for surround sound, this is absolutely another successful effort.
The album is presented in 24-bit DTS 5.1 audio and is quite tastefully mixed, yet still puts the surrounds to very good use throughout the album. The presentation often worked best during the more subtle and pleasant songs that weren't heavily electronic-sounding (the hit "We'll Be Together" sounds quite eighties at this point, as do songs like "Rock Steady"). The strings and instruments of "Englishman In New York" were spread around the listening space wonderfully, with the percussion and strings set nicely in the surrounds while Sting's superb vocals flowed freely from the front three speakers. Vocals mainly stayed in the front speakers, with the exception of some background vocals on tunes such as the slightly reggae-sounding "History Will Teach Us Nothing".
Guitars, drums and other instruments are placed perfectly in the surrounds without being distracting. I generally am not a fan of a lot of vocals placed in the surrounds, especially after some rather disasterous surround-sound presentations of subtle music where the vocals came through the surrounds seemingly at all times. Yet, with all of the surround-sound presentations of Sting's music, the way that surrounds are used for the backing vocals has always been appropriate and actually, they provide some of the best examples that I've heard of vocals placed in the surrounds. When the vocals are placed in the surrounds like on "History Will Teach Us Nothing", they build up the drama and the energy, answering the main vocals and engaging the listener.
Tickle also knows better than many other surround-sound mixers when to bring things inwards. Softer ballads like "The Secret Marriage" and "Sister Moon" generally stay rooted in the front speakers, with only minor surround envelopment. Although one would expect high quality from a 24-bit DTS music presentation, I was not expecting the high level of quality that I found with this edition of the now 14 year old album. Fidelity was remarkably good, as the terrific instrumental work comes through with remarkable clarity, detail and warmth. Sting's great vocals also fare wonderfully, as they come through with front speakers with fine presence and backing vocals occasionally liven the listening experience as they come from the surrounds.
Extras: No extras are included on DTS CDs.
Final Thoughts: Of the three Sting DTS CDs that I've had the pleasure of listening to, I don't know if I would consider "Nothing Like The Sun" my favorite musically (that honor still goes to "Brand New Day"), but I certainly will say that it sounds marvelous here, mixed beautifully by David Tickle and providing the kind of superior audio quality throughout the album that the DTS CD format is known for.