Mercy

John Cale - Mercy
Critic Score
Based on 24 reviews
2023 Ratings: #319 / 757
User Score
Based on 331 ratings
2023 Rank: #732
Liked by 20 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
DIY
Another delicious example of an esteemed old-timer triumphantly pushing his creative frontiers into a much-shifted modern age.
90
Uncut

Mercy is the most out-there work Cale has made in some time. ... The presence of Cale's voice - familiar, rich and avuncular - almost disguises just how radical much of the music is.

90
Clash
This isn’t mere voguish reinvention but a masterful insertion into the most indecipherable of back catalogues, and its reliably mutable, endlessly wandering creator.
90
Loud and Quiet
It’s compelling to see two different generations come together with such ease. 60 years into his career, John Cale’s genius continues to thrive.
82
Northern Transmissions
This record might not touch a lot of people, but who it touches, it will touch very deeply, I think. And that’s the line that Cale seems to be called and willing to walk. Making music, not for the entertainment hungry masses, but those who have ears to hear his heartfelt tale.
80
Evening Standard
Cale is still here, still questing forwards with music that is miles from his origins but still uniquely his.
80
The Irish Times
Cale is on fierce form as his voice, rich and commanding, weaves around well-chosen collaborators.
80
Classic Rock
Nobody is allowed to dominate the sound of the album, which is haunting and imperial at the same time.
80
Record Collector

Cale remains the star of the show ... still crafting richly textured songs that don’t always go where you might expect them to, and refusing to pander to expectations.

80
Gigwise

Mercy is a complete collection of new tracks which maintains Cale’s wisdom, solemnity and sheer musical prowess.

80
Mojo

The lack of solidity can make Mercy nebulous - like any spirit photo, it sometimes takes work to find the shape, fill in detail. Yet slowly, its unfamiliarity coalesces into a cold beauty, memory acting as a spur, not a comfort blanket.

80
Rolling Stone
The Velvet Underground co-founder's first album in a decade features collaborations with innovative new artists and songs about his legendary peers.
80
Exclaim!
He pays homage to Velvet Underground comrade Nico on the elegiac "Moonstruck" — "You're a moonstruck junkie lady / Staring at your feet" — while fluent piano and ethereal vocal touches from Weyes Blood on "Story of Blood" make for another highlight on a compelling album that will more than reward your attention.
80
American Songwriter
Marked by a series of ominous atmospheric soundscapes, the album finds Cale seemingly beckoning whatever spirits surround him with a dire yet distinctive vocal that casts a spell on the effort overall.
80
The Line of Best Fit

While it’s not his greatest studio album, or even his best since the turn of the millennium, Mercy is a great example of all that Cale does well, and a real triumph. It's one of the most tonally consistent albums he's ever done.

80
AllMusic

The wonderful paradox of John Cale's music is his best albums don't often sound like one another, but they're all driven by music no one else could create, and his heart, soul, and vision are visible and intact through the dense, free-flowing atmospheres of Mercy.

78
Pitchfork
On an often chilly album full of unexpected collaborations and smeared with apocalyptic terror, the 80-year-old art-rock legend grapples with the need for human connection.
75
Under the Radar

In Cale’s eightieth year, Mercy reiterates his ever-evolving dedication to high strangeness and musical exploration, and while it never even approaches being an easy listen, it is certainly a compelling, rewarding ride.

70
PopMatters

John Cale enlists Weyes Blood, Sylvan Esso, and Animal Collective to create a dark, unsettling new LP, MERCY, combining darkness with beauty on a knife edge.

64
Spectrum Culture
On his first proper album of new material in more than a decade, Cale pulls together much of his thinking from the past while working with younger generations of artists in addressing this particular moment — but it never ascends to his expected heights, largely due to its persistent subdued tone.
60
The Telegraph
It is not that he can’t sing, it is more that he struggles to hold the centre of attention, while his cryptic lyrics fall short of the heights reached by more celebrated wordsmiths he has worked with.
60
The Observer
The 80-year-old’s latest album features some inspired younger guests but cries out for less dated beats and a visionary producer.
60
The Arts Desk
This is very much a John Cale album, but his wide-ranging and adventurous choice of collaborators takes his journey into new territory, the freshness of new voices and musicians making his own familiar ground sound appealingly new.
60
musicOMH
Collaborators including Actress, Fat White Family and Weyes Blood show up for a roster that stretches from eloquent electronica via sleazy indie to dilated-pupil neo-psychedelia.
JustSomeGuy
80

If you needed anything else to convince you of the Velvet's superiority, here's an 80 year old John Cale showing that he's amongst the best veteran '60s/'70s musicians.

There are two ypes of veteran musicians - those who stick to what they know to varying results (think Iggy Pop, Yes, Bob Dylan), and the artists who understand that evolution is important. Of course, you have Scott Walker and Lou Reed who took such a drastic turn towards the end of their careers that you'd get whiplash ... read more

ShoegazeJake
100

80 year old dude out here dropping some of the most forward thinking music of recent memory.

edgarratesmusic
80

Changed my opinion on this... there's something really hypnotic about it to me.

Ronno
69

I just discovered John Cale and I have to say that he is one of the most interesting musicians I found out recently. His music is also very interesting and I'm wondering how can someone be so creative even in his age. On the other hand I just can't enjoy it enough. Maybe it's too introvert to me.

TheBlueThornx
60

A couple of stunning tracks accompanied by more subtle songs that don’t quite hit the mark for me.

cardinal
83

真正的老当益壮,保持与时代的接轨,与客座嘉宾的巧妙结合,电子节拍稳扎稳打,向下深耕至幽暗深处,阅历凝结出的人际思考。

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Added on: October 19, 2022