Mercury Falling by Sting (1996)

21Mar11

My best friend in college was a major Sting fan, and this album dropped right as we moved in together. Good timing, because I doubt I would have latched onto any other Sting album the way that I did with Mercury Falling. By 1996, Sting was no longer “the singer from The Police” because his sound had changed to a more mature and mellow vibe. God only knows why I was busy worrying about a “mature and mellow vibe” in college, but something about this record really made it easy to love at the time despite its adult contemporary genre. These songs fall somewhere between ‘Fields of Gold’ and ‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’ without ever really making it to either end of that spectrum. The up-tempo songs hold back from being too happy or positive, and the slower songs don’t ever get romantic. It’s safe to say that the general tenor of this record is a little sad, because the lyrics dip into topics like divorce, child custody, doing the time for the crime, and so on. But don’t assume that a sad vibe would produce terrible songs…in fact, those themes appear to have been very inspirational as Sting really delivered some quality stuff on Mercury Falling.

Sting pulled in a few award nominations for the first single ‘Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot’, and it’s a decent song but don’t stop there. My favorite track, ‘I Was Brought To My Senses’, is the perfect combo of sadness, hope, poetic lyrics and masterful instrumentation. In this song and in ‘I Hung My Head’, music nerds will notice the funky meter/timing that Sting likes to tinker with. And country music fans will love ‘I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying’, which Toby Keith has since covered and twanged up a bit (the original version from Mercury Falling is a million times better). And any guy in a relationship will relate to ‘All Four Seasons’, except for me because my woman is perfect and never has any mood swings whatsoever*.

Mercury Falling came up short of becoming a “classic” because it lacked any real pop power for fans to latch onto. The general scuttlebutt among critics is that it’s an under-appreciated gem, which sounds like a funny way to desribe a record that has several award nominations like Best Pop Album on its resume. Whatever…it’s just good music, artistic and easy to listen to. Save it for a rainy day, and take a listen with a bottle of red.

* – I also have some oceanfront property in Kansas for sale if you’re interested.

music turtle recommends: PERFECT RAINY DAY MUSIC!

What do you think about this album? Comment below

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2 Responses to “Mercury Falling by Sting (1996)”

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