Credit: Eric Ryan AndersonSting‘s latest album, 57th & 9th, due in November, will be his first pop/rock album in more than a decade. In recent years, he’s done everything from a Christmas album, to a Broadway musical, to a live symphonic disc, to an album of lute music from the 1600s. Sting says that’s because he likes to keep people guessing.

“For me, the essence of music is surprise,” says the former Police frontman. “I want people to be surprised and never be complacent about what they think I do.”

The new album’s first single, “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You,” is an upbeat track that Sting says isn’t actually about a woman, but about “that obsessive search for inspiration.”

More pointedly, he tells Entertainment Weekly that the song is about “looking at a blank, white sheet of paper and seeing what looks like a field of snow with no clues as to what’s underneath.”

When EW pointed out to Sting that every time he returns to rock or pop, people inevitably compare his work to The Police, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said it doesn’t bother him.

“I was in a very successful rock band,” he says. “I’m never going to feel anything but pride about that.”

57th & 9th, which Sting calls “energetic and noisy, but also thoughtful,” will be out November 11.

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