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Mercury Falling

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Album Review

Falling somewhere between the pop sensibilities of Ten Summoner's Tales and the searching ambition of The Soul Cages, Mercury Falling is one of Sting's tighter records, even if it fails to compel as much as his previous solo albums. Though he doesn't flaunt his jazz aspirations as he did in the mid-'80s, Mercury Falling feels more serious than The Dream of the Blue Turtles, primarily because of its reserved, high-class production and execution. Building from surprisingly simple, memorable melodies, Sting creates multi-layered, vaguely soul-influenced arrangements that carry all of the hallmarks of someone who has studied music, not lived it. Of course, there are many pleasures in the record — for all of his pretensions, Sting remains an engaging melodicist, as well as a clever lyricist. There just happens to be a distinct lack of energy, stemming from the suffocating layers of synthesizers. Mercury Falling is a record of modest pleasures; it's just not an infectious, compulsive listen.

Customer Reviews

Strong and complex album.

One of the major strengths of Mercury Falling is in the consistent atmosphere the music creates. Starting with the slow opener Hounds of Winter, Sting creates a real feeling of sorrow and reflection troughout the album. There are few up beat songs on this album. I Was Brought to My Senses is as close as it gets to happy. But that's ok! There are many great tracks on this album, the most notable being Hounds of Winter and the haunting Valparaiso. A very strong, complex and largely overlooked Sting album.

Sting's Most Concise Work

Each of Sting's recordings, from Dream of the Blue Turtles through Sacred Love, have a distinct flavor that defines them. Mercury Falling has the sound of the memphis horns and lazy R&B rhythms that give it it's musical identity. Lyrically, divorce is a recurring theme. While this may at first sound like a depressing record, Sting juxtaposes jaunty rhythms and upbeat chord changes with the sadness of some of the lyrics. "I'm So Happy" actually celebrates his divorce as a good life change, and one that although it was a sad event at the time, turned out with a happy ending. I like this CD best of all of Sting's CD's simply because the songs speak the most clearly and consistently throughout. For me, every other release he's had has 2 or 3 tracks that I could do without. This one is strong from 1 thru 10, and you can't go wrong adding this to your collection. 10 years old, and it is still one of the CD's I always put in my CD player when guests are over. Get it!

Sting's last good album, and in my opinion his best.

The CD I have opens with "Hounds of Winter", a really powerful, dark song with an amazing arrangement and incredible melodies and lyrics. This song really sets the tone of the album much more than "All Four Seasons", the first track on this iTunes version of the album. "I Was Brought To My Senses" is a sweeping love song the most enormously beautiful arrangment of a pop song ever. If you don't want to get the whole record, at least get this and "Hounds of Winter". My favorite Sting album.

Biography

Born: October 2, 1951 in Wallsend, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After disbanding the Police at the peak of their popularity in 1984, Sting quickly established himself as a viable solo artist, one obsessed with expanding the boundaries of pop music. Sting incorporated heavy elements of jazz, classical, and worldbeat into his music, writing lyrics that were literate and self-consciously meaningful, and he was never afraid to emphasize this fact in the press. For such unabashed ambition, he was equally loved and reviled, with supporters believing that he was at...
Full Bio