By this, his 11th solo album, Colin Hay’s records are as comfortable as a pair of old shoes that have held up for so many years you’ve forgotten when you purchased them. Naturally, that speaks to the cozy comfort of the fit, but it also speaks to the craft: Hay may not tread new ground but his compositions are so simple and sturdily constructed they’re easy to take for granted. That’s especially true on Gathering Mercury, which unfolds at an unhurried pace, the tempos never rushing, the dynamics never getting heated. Although it’s a full production with electric guitars, pianos, backing voices, and drums, it leaves the impression of an intimate acoustic performance, partially because the songs are so casually lyrical in their description of the everyday. Hay doesn’t make the kind of records that call attention to themselves -- they’re reflections of his offhand charm -- but a close listen to Gathering Mercury does reveal that there’s a lot of thought behind what seems so easy.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine