Recorded some months after Without Mercy, Say What You Mean features many but not all of the same performers from that album, creating a series of shorter but no less effective pieces in the same gentle classical/ambient vein. One track itself is called "A Little Mercy" and provides a quick precis of some of the key melodies from Without Mercy, a nice bonus. No string performers appear this time around, but most of the horn performers return, including Tim Kellet on trumpet and Mervyn Fletcher on sax, to accompany the basic Reilly/Mitchell core. Unlike the generally gentle ease of Without Mercy, some points on Say What You Mean are a touch more stentorian and aggressive, as with the rough drum sounds and piano line on the opening "Goodbye" and its cousin, the concluding "Hello." Others are almost nutty, like the quirky synth lines and tones from Reilly himself on "The Room" or the calmer efforts on "Silence." Reilly otherwise continues his general approach -- restrained vocals, beautiful guitars, and more -- while Mitchell adds in percussion here and there as needed along with the rhythm boxes.
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