Stewart Copeland (drums) and Andy Summers (guitar) are the best in the business at their respective instruments. Also, if you watch or read any interviews, they are clearly nicer, humbler dudes than Sting by a very large margin. What I mean to say is: I like them much better than Sting. However, some of the songs they wrote are awful and are far down on the list. Part of it is their songs sound more like novelty songs with silly lyrics and gimmick-y premises.
I have to hand it to Sting: he writes relentlessly catchy songs. However, I don't think enough people recognize the contributions of Copeland and Summers which take each of Sting's songs from "good" to "amazing." None of Sting's solo stuff has ever been as good or successful.
Sting is a very pretentious as a lyricist, trying to cram in as many literary and Psych 101 references as he can, whether it works or not.
Andy Summers was the original Tom Morello. He has the best effects and offbeat solos and probably never really got his due as the genius he is.
I averaged the rating for each song on each album and the album ranking (lower album number means higher song ratings) came out like this:
- Synchronicity - 23.09090909
- Outlandos d'Amour - 23.3
- Zenyatta Mondatta - 25.90909091
- Ghost In The Machine - 32.18181818
- Reggatta de Blanc - 35.09090909
My main beef with Ghost In The Machine is the saxophone. Some time before it was recorded, Sting taught himself how to play and the album is polluted with layers upon layers of middling saxophone that hurts my spine to listen to.
My favorite songs are on Outlandos d'Amour because it captures the Police in their first moments of combining punk rock and appropriated reggae, and the sound is exciting and bouncy. For best album, Synchronicity stands out because it all works together so well as an album you can sit down and listen to front to back.
Here are the songs ranked best to worst: