Cherry Tree Carol
Label: Sting - Winter Album
Sting, paired with classical producer Robert Sadin, goes back to ancient times on this austere seasonal ode to winter on the British Isles. "The Snow It Melts the Soonest" comes from his native Newcastle (Sting actually sings in his regional, Northern accent), but the most gripping tune is "Christmas at Sea," which marries the narrative sea shanty with dreams of home and hearth. He also wrote two numbers himself: "Lullaby for an Anxious Child" fits in with the classical material, while the undeniable hooks of "The Hounds of Winter" prove that Sting is still a fine pop songwriter.