Scottish-born Australian musician Colin Hay first rose to fame as the lead vocalist of Men at Work. When the band split in the mid 80s, Colin launched a solo career and so far has 12 studio albums under his belt starting in 1987 with Looking for Jack. His music caught the eye of actor Zach Braff, who has used it in many of the projects he’s worked on and starred in over the years including Garden State and Scrubs. Colin recently released Fierce Mercy, his first album since 2015’s Next Year People.
Colin has co-written or written all but one of the tracks on Fierce Mercy. Sonically the album is a mixture of sounds reflective of the fact that the recording took place in Nashville and Los Angeles. Over his career to date Colin has experimented with many different genres of music with his songwriting being the one consistent at the heart of everything he does. The perky Come Tumblin’ Down embraces a traditional country sound and sets the scene for an album that aims for variety.
The best track on the album is Secret Love, a song that fuses rock with laidback country rhythms. It’s one of the most memorable tracks on the record and one that you’ll keep going back to. Elsewhere Colin embraces a folkier sound on the beautiful Frozen Fields of Snow, strips everything back for the love song She Was the Love of Mine, and aims for a radio-friendly ditty on the catchy Love Don’t Mean Enough.
Not every song on Fierce Mercy is a gem. I’m Walking Here featuring Deploi and Swift sticks out like a sore thumb. Infusing reggae and rap into Colin’s sound, the track just doesn’t really work. By the time Colin repeats ‘I’m walking here’ I was ready to walk right on to the next track. A Thousand Million Reasons (not to be confused with the similarly named recent Lady Gaga single) suffers from being too repetitive, something that could be levelled at a handful of the songs included on this record.
There’s no denying that Colin is a gifted musician and songwriter. Fierce Mercy has much to offer but for me I found it a little too repetitive in parts and some of the musical risks don’t quite pay off. For every stand out track on the record, there is too much filler and after a few listens I’d found myself skipping between the same handful of songs. Long-time fans of Colin will no doubt lap up Fierce Mercy but occasional listeners may not find much past a few standout tracks.
Track List: 1. Come Tumblin’ Down 2. Secret Love 3. A Thousand Million Reasons 4. The Best In Me 5. Frozen Fields of Snow 6. The Last to Know 7. I’m Going to Get You Stoned 8. I’m Walking Here (feat Deploi and Swift) 9. Two Friends 10. She Was the Love of Mine 11. I’m Inside Outside In 12. Blue Bay Moon 13. Love Don’t Mean Enough Record Label: Compass Records Release Date: 7th April 2017