After taking a break after their last full-length album “Make the Best of It”, which was released in 2017, fans were shocked to hear that Have Mercy was going to be jumping on the new music train in 2019, but the masses were excited for it, let me tell you, so let’s see if they lived up to the measure. As one begins to listen to the album, it is apparent that Have Mercy retained their characteristic sound that makes them distinguishable in this music scene; however, on this record, unlike their previous releases, Have Mercy started to take a turn to include more musical variety whether that be with harmonies, melodies, counter-melodies, or just instrumentals in general. This enabled the band to create new sounds that still resonated in their personal sound, while also appealing to many more audience types. Throughout the album, it is easy to say that the band is mainly running on the idea of simplicity, which allows for the band to focus on hard-hitting lyrics. This tactic is so strong and a Have Mercy staple. This forces the listeners to focus on the lyrics and the meaning behind each track, and that will give them the full-body experience. Overall, I would give this album a 4 out of 5 stars. I am giving this record such a score because I enjoy the fluctuation of instrumentals and “vibes” that the band is giving to the audience throughout the different tracks on the album, but I feel like there is a little something missing that would push this record completely over the top. However, this album is still remarkable and worth the listen.
“We Ain’t Got Love”, “So Like You”, and “Control”
These tracks stick out when listening to the album as a whole, for they take the traditional Have Mercy sound that has put the band on the map, and it twists it slightly to give the audience an innovative take on an old favorite. Additionally, these selections go directly for the heart, which is something that Have Mercy is known for, so it is only appropriate that these tracks are the leading trio. I would take the emotional journey that is this record from top to bottom; however, if you want the best of the best- start here.
When glancing at the artwork, I would say it gives the viewer mixed emotions. This is because it is partly quite vintage and interesting to look at, but to some, since it is very less than modern, the art may appear amateur and unappealing. Taking this into consideration, I would say that there is a slight connection between the image and the music that falls on the inside. The record takes the listener through an emotional journey surrounding the idea of love and relationships. With this, it makes sense that there would be a female, who appears to be stranded, left to wallow in her thoughts because that is exactly what is driven home throughout the lyrical content of the album. The color scheme of the image itself fits the varying emotions that one feels on the emotional roller coaster developed by Have Mercy throughout this record. Furthermore, I would say that the two work together well; however, I do feel like some people will glance at the artwork and turn away because it doesn’t have a fresh and modern vibe to it, but none of Have Mercy’s albums do, so we’ll see what the world thinks.
*”The Love Life” was released on August 2nd, 2019 through Hopeless Records.