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Mercury Falling

4.2 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 12, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Many would say Sting's barb isn't as sharp as it was when he and his original band, the Police, first collared ts audience. Yet on his latest solo album, 'Mercury Falling', the man continues his life-long musical experiment of weaving world beat rhythms and instrumentation with the basics of rock, jazz and pop. This new 10-song disc is an extension of Sting's '93 turnaround album, 'Ten Summoner's Tales'. Unlike his very early solo work, which was as annoying as Amazon rain forest mosquitoes because of preachy politics, 'Summoner' and now 'Mercury Falling' wrestle with life one day, one joy, one problem at a time. Mercury Falling' has a lean, aggressive sound that shamelessly borrows from any style that stung Sting. There are elements of traditional Celtic arrangements, jazz, country and even R&B. It's just a guess, but since Sting is a gifted bassist, you'd assume he writes music from the rhythm tracks rather than usual chord patterns. That would explain how he gives power to many of the songs on 'Mercury' and how he is able to make the mood of the music so clear, so quickly. For instance, 'All Four Seasons', sets itself up with the syncopated heel-click strut. Even though Sting sings "the girl is all four seasons to me," the song is breezy and pure spring. In sharp contrast is "I Hung My Head", which has a weird tempo that makes the intense, almost country song about an accidental death edgier. Musically this album is pleasant and melody-oriented enough that it can be used as background for a gathering, but 'Mercury' is best when it can be listened to with focused attention. Then the literate lyrics, which are as simple and complex as a Robert Frost poem, are able to tell their story. As always, Sting's voice is terrific, the songs are sturdy and the musicianship superb. 'Mercury Falling; makes a convincing argument that 'Summoner' wasn't a fluke. As Sting gets older he's become more ambitious and more fluent in his attempt to make music a universal language.

(Review from the New York Post by Dan Aquilante)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 12, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: March 12, 1996
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000005ILF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,529 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
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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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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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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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By A Customer 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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