I love how personal this album is. If you have not seen Sting's ted talk about the back story of this album, I highly recommend it. It is really inspiring to know that even someone as awesome as Sting can experience and overcome writer's block and produce something so amazing. The sincerity and honestly in this album is undeniable. Going back to his strong English roots is pure genius.
My favourite songs in this album are: The Last Ship (track 1), Dead Man's Boots (track 2), August Winds (track 4), So To Speak (featuring Becky Unthank) (track 11), and, The Last Ship (Reprise) (track 12). I also absolutely adore The Night The Pugilist Learned How To Dance (track 7). In the deluxe CD, Shipyard (featuring Jimmy Nail, Brian Johnson and Jo Lawry) (track 1) and Hadaway (track 3) stay with me the longest. All in all, the entire album is highly enjoyable and I spent many pleasant long drives accompanied by Sting through this album.
It really goes to show the kind of genius that one can create when one puts their heart into things. There is nothing fake or pretentious in this album. Part of me feels that it is not even about the audience when it comes to this album. It is the compilation of stories from an old man who simply wants to tell whoever who would listen, stories about his childhood. Whoever who would listen. This album does not scream for attention. It simply sits and speaks, and we, the audience to it instead of it coming to us. And that is something truly magical.