The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Tony Hil­lier

Fierce Mercy Colin Hay Com­pass/Sony Any­one who has seen the doc­u­men­tary Wait­ing for My Real Life, which cov­ers Colin Hay’s ex­tra­or­di­nary ca­reer from Western Aus­tralia and world­wide fame with Men at Work to com­par­a­tive anonymity as a soloist and then his resur­gence as a song­smith in the US, will know that he treats vi­cis­si­tudes of for­tune with philo­soph­i­cal equa­nim­ity. Nev­er­the­less, there’s no doubt­ing that with Fierce Mercy — his most com­mer­cial re­lease since the heady days of Down Un­der — the ex­pat Scot has given him­self ev­ery chance of achiev­ing a be­lated re­turn to the charts. Recorded in Los An­ge­les and Nashville, Hay’s 13th solo al­bum is a slick pro­duc­tion sat­u­rated with strings, synths, elec­tric guitar and more hooks than you’d find in an an­gler’s hat. The songs, 10 of them col­lab­o­ra­tions with reg­u­lar as­so­ciate Michael Ge­or­giades, are re­flec­tions on love, life and death, de­liv­ered in the artist’s dis­tinc­tive tim­bre with sin­cer­ity and dry wit. Songs such as She was the Love of Mine, a ten­der el­egy for Hay’s mother, and the equally poignant Two Friends, al­lud­ing to other re­cent losses, tug at the heart­strings, the for­mer as­sisted by muted trum­pet. As­cend­ing lines and a mid-track key change give im­pe­tus to Se­cret Love, a pas­sion­ate power bal­lad. With tin­kling piano and vi­o­lins and ref­er­ences to a sum­mer in Paris, A Thou­sand Mil­lion Rea­sons is un­self­con­sciously sen­ti­men­tal: “I woke up here in heaven, float­ing round the sun.” Zy­deco-styled ac­cor­dion and pedal steel lend coun­try am­bi­ence re­spec­tively to Come Tum­blin’ Down and Blue Bay Moon; there’s a Cuban tres guitar Latin flavour­ing to The Best in Me.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.