After 2003's 'Sacred Love' by Sting, I changed my mind about 'Mercury Falling': it's not any more Sting's worst album. Im fact, it's just a different kind of Sting! He has us so spoiled and used to his musical creativity sparkling in the most brilliant and unexpected ways, that this album comes as a bit of a surprise: it is off to the side in the midst of the rest of Sting's work, with an odd combination of horns filling in spaces that would normally be taken by more "Sting-like" instruments, such as a classic guitar, pipes or piano solos, and some country riffs that even the most die-hard Sting fans have a hard time digesting.
Escaping this recurrent trend in the album are the opening "Hounds of Winter" (the most "classic Sting" song in the album, if there's such a thing); "Hung my head", a song with better lyrics than arrangement, brought back to life by the late Johnny Cash in his posthumous 'American IV' album; "Alone with myself", a track with an odd-time signature and a beautifully written song; the Brazillian-influenced and French-sung "La Belle Dame Sans Regret"; and "Valparaiso", named after a Chilean port town, and accompanied by pipes in an eclectic mix like Sting got us used to in his memorable 'Soul Cages' album.
Poor? No. Bad? Far from it. Just slightly off to the side of the rest of his work, and now, thanks to 'Sacred Love' from 2003, not any more his least desireable album! I give it four stars without much else to say about it.