This ‘Active Child’ review was written by Cara Stones, a GIGsoup contributor.

4*Four years after the release of Pat Grossi’s debut album “You Are All I See” under the project name of Active Child, the artist has released his sophomore LP “Mercy”.

Active Child has always had that beautiful and instantly recognisable vocal but on this new album there are actually far more vocals and lyrics featured which works incredibly well without the rest of the music being compromised.

The opening track “1999” is testament to aforementioned fact. It builds up slowly with the layering of sounds including fluttering harp arpeggios which feature on quite a few Active Child tracks – another thing that makes his music easily recognisable.

“Darling” doesn’t have that typical Active Child sound although it does of course feature the harp throughout. Despite “Darling” having the generic hum of synth in the background the rest or the instrumentation has a less perfected and raw sound and it’s enjoyable to hear something more basic (yet beautiful)  among the rest of the tracks on the album that all sound so mighty and ethereal.

Title track “Mercy” is mainly driven by layers of smooth vocals and interesting percussion. There is a real sense of heartache to this song which is added to by the echoing effect that we hear bouncing out from the vocals throughout.

“Stranger” is the stand-out track on the album and it is also has the fastest pace. There is a stronger focus on the constant beat in this song and the extremely powerful vocals on this track pose yet another example of how Active Child has really pushed himself further with this album than with any of his past releases.

Towards the end of the album, songs like “Temptation” and “Lazarus” are slowed, marking the wind down to the album’s finish. Soft piano notes in “Lazarus” that twinkle over a beautiful and large orchestral sound along with Grossi’s slow, delicate vocals creates a wonderful dream like sound that leads perfectly into the final track of the album, “Too Late”. This finale uses a quite captivating piano as its main focus. It has a very billowy almost sleepy vibe to it that brings a close to the album perfectly.

Active Child has really built upon every aspect of his musical ability in this album. This new release deserves some time-out from your day to fully experience its beauty

“Mercy” is out now on Vagrant Records

The full track-listing for ‘Mercy’ is as follows…

‘1999’

‘These Arms’

‘Never Far Away’

‘Darling’

‘Mercy’

‘Midnight Swim’

‘Stranger’

‘Temptation’

‘Lazarus’

‘Too Late’

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4*

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