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Review: Colin Hay Shows Fierce Mercy on New Album

Recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville (where top musicians such as Audley Freed, a former member of The Black Crowes, lent a hand) and mixed by Vance Powell (Chris Stapleton, Jack White) and Gordon Hammond (Don Williams, Buddy Miller), Fierce Mercy will be released via Compass Records on April 7.

The album, produced by Hay himself, explores themes such as love and loss, mortality and even UFO sightings. Music-wise, it displays touches of Americana, pop and rock and boasts luscious string arrangements that wouldn’t sound out of place on a film soundtrack.

Ten of the album’s 13 tracks were collaborations with Michael Georgiades, who contributed to two of Hay’s previous long-playing efforts, Gathering Mercury (2011) and American Sunshine (2009).

The country-esque groove of “Come Tumblin’ Down” is an ideal opener, with Hay’s reassuringly familiar Aussie tones a pleasant added bonus (he emigrated down under from his birthplace of Scotland in 1967 at the age of 14). “Secret Love” is a powerful, string-laden ballad sung with real passion and “A Thousand Million Reasons,” the tune that follows it, is equally as lovely.

“Frozen Fields of Snow” has a pleasant, ‘chilled out’ vibe and features some great piano, while “I’m Going to Get You Stoned” is full of warmth and nostalgia – even if it does appear to endorse substance abuse!

The relaxed soft rock pace of many of the songs changes somewhat on the epic “I’m Walking Here,” thanks to rapped lyrics (courtesy of Joe Lopez and Jonathan Piazza) that may not appeal to everybody’s tastes. I personally loved it, however.

Colin Hay:  Fierce Mercy

Colin Hay: ‘Fierce Mercy’
Claire Horton PR

Further tunes of note that close out the album include the beautiful “She Was the Love of Mine” and “Blue Bay Moon” (which includes the always welcome strains of a steel guitar).

This record is heartfelt and poignant, while at the same time witty and self-deprecating. It is full of sweeping melodies, reflective lyrics and passionate vocals and should delight anyone who enjoys guitar-driven music, as well as admirers of the artist’s previous work – which now spans nearly 40 years.

Fierce Mercy will be released on April 7.

For more information on Colin Hay, visit his official website.

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