Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Lewis Capaldi – Mercy

And the crankiness continues…


Iain Mew: Me amidst an almost unbroken stream of his strained vocals: “why won’t you release me?”

Katie Gill: In my quest to find out if Lewis Capaldi is related to Peter Capaldi (results inconclusive but unlikely), I found out that Lewis Capaldi supported Rag’n’Bone Man on his European tour because of course he fuckin’ did. This is Rag’n’Bone Man if he stole Sam Smith’s gospel choir, yet another sad white “soulful” UK man singing sad white “soulful” UK songs. Still, I suppose the BBC thinks you’ve got to have one obligatory “raw and soulful” act per every Sound Of ballot. And for the obligatory raw and soulful act, we could do a lot worse.

Austin Brown: This is… actually pretty good. An emotional swell rather than a slap to the face, and unlike fellow guitar-toting adult contemporary Scot Tom Walker, his interest in projecting himself into the cheap seats seems to be based in populism, not narcissism. Too bad the commodity he sells so well is the same sniveling defensiveness, passed off as introspection, that afflicts most of the acousti-bros of today.

Will Adams: Normally on anthemic dude stomp pieces like this, the more drums that are added the worse it gets. But on “Mercy,” they’re a saving grace. Despite all of Lewis Capaldi’s rasps, the relative quiet of the production, particularly on the drums, helps soften the harsh edges. It’s almost friendly, even.

Alfred Soto: The British people’s tolerance for this sort of oatmeal-voiced drivel is as impressive as surviving the Blitz. 

Stephen Eisermann: Add the “gravelly voice” filter to Ed Sheeran and out pops Lewis. It’s not a bad thing, either, as Capaldi’s voice is awesome, but halfway through the track I found myself trying to clear my throat from the anxiety I felt from a potential missed note. And the song isn’t all that interesting — unrequited love is too common a theme to be used this generically. 

Tim de Reuse: Capaldi’s enunciation moves beyond “laughably dramatic” to “nearly incomprehensible” as he bleeds, bends, and tortures each word of his lyrics into exotic, alien shapes. The word “apart” has two new vowels added in; the accompanying rhyme of “heart” is scratchier than a human vocal tract should allow. The overcooked delivery and general go-nowhere chorus-heavy structure is all enough to get old quickly, but it gets worse: all this heavy-handed repetition is done in service of a narrative portraying some dude Facebook-stalking his ex and getting really mopey about his own inability to move on. Just go the fuck to sleep, man.

Reader average: [6.5] (2 votes)

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One Response to “Lewis Capaldi – Mercy”

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