And this is entirely my problem, of course. Artists that I really respected when I was younger have annoyed the hell out of me in recent years, Sting being chief among them (and U2, of course).
The "winter" album that Sting put out has fantastic artwork, suggesting meticulous planning and marketing. The thing is, this isn't marketed for me. It's marketed for the easy listening crowd. That's probably the demographic that he's chasing with all of this new music he's been putting out, which ranges from remakes to stage tunes to classical music. Now that the Police reunion is behind him (and it was awful, I have to admit, to hear the Police play slow and to a level of indulgence well beyond anything reasonable), Sting doesn't give a shit about anyone or anything.
Does that make him an actual artist? Yes, it probably does.