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4.2 out of 5 stars
Mercury Falling
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Mercury Falling seems to receive a bad rap often times among critics, who can't seem to forgive Sting for venturing into the realm of (gasp!): melancholy themes. It's true. It's much more grey and dismal than his previous albums, and it's as if people can't stand the thought of introverted song material.
This album is easily compared to Both Sides, the 1993 release from Phil Collins. Though popular, this album did not receive the publicity and appeal that its predecessors did -- due to Collins' introverted and often sad music. However, if you talk to a die-hard Collins fan, he/she will tell you that it's his best, deepest work.
The same can be said for Mercury Falling. A common thread throughout the album is Sting's depression and problems with love. So what? So it's not all "happy happy prancing flowers." Sting's terrific songwriting talent is brought out wonderfully in these somber pieces, namely "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot," "Valparaiso," (which features violins)and "You Still Touch Me." The lyrics alone to the beautiful sailor song "Valparaiso" are enough to give the album a thumb's up. Sting, as usual, displays genre-hopping, most namely with the gospel-esque "Let Your Soul..." and the country-tinted "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying."
Sting's odd metering tastes are most noted in "I Was Brought To My Senses," which also showcases terrifically, practically unwritable rhythms. "I Hung My Head," is the album's "story song," and tells of a man sentenced to die for murder. Sting's strange, but catchy melody for the song -- one might call it simplistic and unfitting -- makes the song even more realistic due to the character's simple education and existence in what seems to be the old west. The song explores the non-existent motive of the murder, and, in general, a very dark side of human nature and its suppressed desires. Truly one of the album's standouts.
This album is simply incredible. The ending piece, "Lithium Sunset," is a fantastic plea for change and life, which features a great harmonica solo, in keeping with the odd instrumentalization of the album. Mercury Falling is simply great. It is a venture away from pop music and into ambient music from deep inside the human heart. I strongly recommend it. Or, I suppose you could go back to your comfortable, warm fuzzy pop music...but would you have explored anything if you did that?
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This was actually the first cd I bought of his, and it still gets play even in my busy dorm at college. This album begins and ends with "Mercury Falling," which I found to be quite intriguing.
Sometimes Sting stretches belief, as with songs like "I Hung My Head," which lives up to its name quite well, but this album is fantastic. "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets" almost makes me want to learn French so I can understand the lyrics. "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying" is one of my favorite songs ever, and "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot" and "You Still Touch Me" are outstanding as well, as is "The Hounds of Winter" and "I Was Brought To My Senses."
If you like mellow music to enjoy during a snowy day or a rainy day or you are feeling down, this album is great. Commiserate with me and all of the other sad and melancholy souls who seek solace in his well-crafted verses of heartache and sorrow. It's well worth it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I will admit that when I first bought this CD several years ago, I only enjoyed one or two of the songs - I was used to the old Police style, and Mercury Falling deviated from that.
A few years later, I was looking for something somewhat mellow to play as background music at a cocktail party, and put it in the CD player. Immediately, people started to comment "who is that?", "what a cool sound", "wow, I really like that".
I now listen to the CD when I'm relaxing after a hard day, or as background music when we're having a party or even cleaning/decorating the house.
I think it's a perfect mix - soothing and upbeat at the same time. If at first you don't like it, try, try again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Okay, you've read the critics, they seem to like it. Sting fans seem split between loving it and hating it. All you want to know is, do you buy the album or not?
Well--if all you're looking for is hit singles, don't. There are, however, several you will be familiar with from Mercury Falling, i.e., Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot and You Still Touch Me.
But the fact of the matter is that the best songs on this album were never released! Why THE HOUNDS OF WINTER and ALL FOUR SEASONS were not released to radio, I'll never know. The Hounds of Winter might just be the best "Sting" song he's ever made...it's sonically rich and lyrically beautiful. All Four Seasons is lighthearted and fun, and is sure to appeal to all of you men out there who can't figure out their women...
If you have a chance to listen before you buy, don't forget to check out Valparaiso and Lithium Sunset--two radically different songs with much to recommend them placed back-to-back at the end of the CD...
To Buy or Not to Buy? If you're a Police/Dream of the Blue Turtles fan, don't. It's a work of the more "mature" Sting, and people who idolize the old days will just be disappointed.
But if you like Sting's later works--or even if you're ambivalent about them--consider buying it. It's a great album. No, it doesn't top Ten Summoner's Tales. It's deeper, darker, more subdued and introspective. You'll like it if you give it a chance.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Mercury Falling may be Sting's best work to date and is by far his most underrated album. Why Mercury Falling has been so neglected baffles me. It is his most mature and immediate work. It is, I think, his most personal album. It is morose and it is beautiful.
Some would say that taste is relative. Some would also prefer pizza to caviar or Marbuzet to Margaux, but for the refined ear there is Mercury Falling.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album when it came out in 1996, and went to see him in concert on the Mercury Falling tour a few months later. I liked The Police, but I have been a true fan of Sting for about 10 years now; I very much prefer his solo work. "Mercury Falling" is his best album to date (and I am writing this after the release of "Brand New Day"). That was my opinion 4 (!) years ago when I bought this album, and it is my opinion today. I remember hearing this CD for the first time, amazed that EVERY song was absolutely great. This CD is solid, and one of the best albums I have ever heard. I felt like each album up to this one was better than his previous one, that he was improving with each new release. But "Brand New Day" does not even compare to "Mercury Falling." I can live with that-I feel fortunate to be a contemporary of Sting's and for the opportunity not only to hear all of his music, but to be here while it is being made.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
If you hear "I was brought to my senses" you will notice Sting sings like a violin. There is no voice on earth that can meet the disarrayed vocals that sting displays on the track. Mercury falling is an album I have been listening to for a few months now. I don't know why I never bothered to hear it before. Like a friend on amazon said, this album does have Sting in a mellower mood than usual. He goes as far as making "Im so happy I can't stop crying" I can use words but cannot explain just how dreadfully addictive it is.Sting makes fun of his predicament. Just how many men/artists can do this as well as the master himself?

The first time I heard I HUNG MY HEAD,it was the johnny cash version. I like the Cash version more but that doesnt take anything away from the original. I find it a difficult exercise to get bored of this album. It seems newer than the last time everytime I hear it. Track 1, Hounds of Winter has an everlasting melody that hits off the album.

Some other songs on this album that I love with all my heart,

You Still Touch Me(Beautifully set),Let Your Soul (Amazing Amazing Amazing), Lithium Sunset (not great but it's like the credits rolling on this album to end) , All four Seasons, etc.

I think I have named all the tracks of this album. My favourite Sting album is Brand New Day because that is what started the addiction for me with monumental songs (Ghost Story,A Thousand Years,Desert Rose,Big Lies small world) Mercury Falling is more intriguing,complex,bigger and all in all more respect earning.

I saw Sting perform in my city earlier this year and he didnt perform one song from this album. Great concert though.

Buy Mercury Falling if you appreciate albums that complete themselves. You can listen to one track from this album repeatedly and not get bored.You can start from anywhere, there's no pattern as such.

With Much Respect,

HSA
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I lost interest in Sting after his excellent album "Nothing Like The Sun...", because I thought the quality of his writing was decreasing. So I never even bothered listening to this album. That was until I was travelling in Asia for three months and I got the tape as a gift from a fellow-traveller. As I only had five tapes with me it was a welcome change, so I gave it a chance. At first I thought: another unremarkable Sting album, but repeated listenings got me hooked on it more and more. I think I must have listened to it at least thirty times now and it still does not bore me. The songs are beautifully varied and the production is perfect: every song gets exactly the right musical foil, be it with a little bit of Hammond organ or with backing horns, but all the time with the delightful driving drumming of Vinnie Colaiuta (the sound of his drums are changed according to the song's need). Sting himself sounds very engaged (his singing of "You Still Touch Me" reminds of The Police era and his phrase "We try to do the best within the given time" on "I'm So Happy That I Can't Stop Crying" brings tears to my eyes) to complement the perfect musical production. All in all an album that requires repeated listenings to be fully appreciated and once there it is there to stay! Give it a chance, you will not regret it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 1999
Format: Audio CD
One day last week I was reading a magazine during lunch and came across an ad for Sting's forthcoming album. I let out a little yelp of pleasure and my co-workers asked what I was so excited about. When I told them, they all laughed; one said "Who cares about Sting anymore?" and the other said, "Nobody knows anything he's produced in this decade." At that moment I leapt to the defense of an album that has been a staple for me over the past three years: MERCURY FALLING. I probably listen to this CD more than any other single album I own. It relaxes me, touches me (I still get misty-eyed during "I'm So Happy That I Can't Stop Crying"), and generally puts me in a good mood. It's just good music -- which is what Sting has always been known for. So open your minds, open your ears, and buy this album.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 1999
Format: Audio CD
"I Was Brought To My Senses" is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard in my life. The B-sides to the singles are great too.
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