Maia Sharp - Mercy Rising
by Kevin Wierzbicki
Sharp's latest album begins with the title cut, a co-write with Mindy Smith where acoustic and electric guitar and strings combine for an ethereal sound, a bit foreboding and the perfect accompaniment for Sharp's vocals where she sings about a quest for something that may never be found; "I've been counting constellations and I'm still waiting on mercy rising." "You'll Know Who Knows You," on the other hand is a joyous anticipation of a perfect evening with a lover while "Whatever We Are" finds Sharp singing about how it's so difficult to define a relationship, even when love for a partner is not in question. On "Things to Fix," another evaluation of a relationship, Sharp's lyrics acknowledge that maybe the fixing should begin with that person in the mirror. Full of clever lyrics and set to a swampy, bayou-conjuring melody, "Junk Yard Dog" equates a woman scorned with a scrappy canine with plenty of fight left in her; "Don't be surprised to come home and see/A collar and a chain where I used to be." The cut is seriously catchy too with a fun chorus to sing along to. Also notable is the quiet and tender "Always Good to See You," the bonus track inspired by memoirist and podcaster Cheryl Strayed that closes the album.