Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Mar 23rd, 2012

Colin Hay: Gathering Mercury

Colin Hay
Gathering Mercury
(Compass Records)

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Opening with the near lullaby-like “Send Somebody” (which appears later on as a simple acoustic guitar/vocal version), Colin Hay, ex-singer of Men at Work, presents a nice opener of bass, richly-recorded acoustic, electric guitar, drums and his unique vocals to his 11th release, Gathering Mercury.

“Invisible” (again a simpler version appears as a bonus track later on) sees full work of the players here, a perfectly arranged tune with nice big drums, congas, perfectly placed organ and backing vocals that are as much Randy Newman as Toto. “Dear Father” sees Colin plucking his acoustic, something he does throughout here, with a lyric that is chill-inspiring with a lush string backing of cellist Oliver Kraus. Hay’s dad died in 2011 but the song is far from maudlin. It is simply sweet and just another example of Hay kicking it out of the park with Gathering Mercury.

The title track is echo-y sweet again, built around Hay’s acoustic and strong voice with “Far From Home” one of the real movers here featuring Hay on electric rhythm guitar, Jeff Babko’s Hammond B3 and Randy Cooke’s drumming. This is probably the song most reminiscent of Men at Work and another where Hay’s voice is perfect. “Where the Sky Is Blue” is a nice, slightly country-sounding ditty that features some truly nice piano work.

The instrumental, “Goodnight Romeo,” ends the collection perfectly with Hay picking a pretty chord melody on his acoustic with a low harmonium-sounding backing.

Far from “Who Can It Be Now,” this new album, from Colin Hay is a gem.

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Colin Hay: Gathering Mercury