Sting has spent most of this century flitting among diverse projects: lute playing, Christmas tunes, symphonic collaborations, Broadway, a seemingly grudging reunion tour with his old Police mates. But with the release last fall of 57th & 9th, the Police man is back on the rock beat. The new album, named for the Manhattan intersection Sting crossed daily on the way to his studio, has a workmanlike feel to match its title, with experimentation dialed back in favor of solid, straightforward tunes. The Police-like “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You” and snarly “Petrol Head” are the key rockers. “50,000” and “Heading South on the Great North Road” are essentially bookend reflections on his long career. “Inshallah,” with sighing electronics, puts the refugee crisis in human perspective. And “The Empty Chair” is a quiet, wrenching ballad about ISIL-murdered journalist James Foley.