44 / 876 (CD)

Sometimes a collaboration comes across on paper as so absolutely bonkers that the natural response travels from “why?” to “why not?” and 44/876 fits this description as good as any. Before today, a musical pairing between Sting and Shaggy suggests two distinctly different Spotify playlists were involved in a freak accident, but the result is much more of a no brainer than that eye-popping billing would present. Do not expect the worldbeat waiting room stylings of “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You” mashed together with the slow-jams-meets-reggae-rap of peak Shaggy. Instead, expect an album of low-stakes, effortless catchy Caribbean pop. Ghosts of The Police appear in Sting’s melodies over these reggae grooves, but his vocals are largely relaxed and take a backseat to the more energetic verses of Shaggy. And…well, let’s face it, literally no one on earth sounds like Shaggy except for Shaggy.

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