I’ve always found the title “singer/songwriter” somewhat amusing. Literally translated, that can also be called “musician”.
That is until a legitimate “singer/songwriter” comes along and audibly slaps the cynicism out of you. You see, because to truly earn the title of a singer/songwriter you need to be able to do more than just make a catchy song. Recently we’ve been fortunate enough to hear some who have earned the title; Ben Draiman, Brendan James and Katey Laurel, to name a few, have proven that the title is no laughing matter. But as with all music, the bar can be raised and the game changed.
After one listen, the UK’s own Daniel Pearson easily joins the ranks as one of the best singer/songwriters we have the privilege of hearing today. With the debut of his second album, Mercury State, Pearson defines the style. The nine-track proclamation of social inequality and recession is memorable, catchy and deeply well composed.
Far too often musicians will play to the temperature of the world economy and come up feeling fake and/or insincere. For Pearson, he safely land miles clear of anything remotely false. Mercury State moves from the initial shock of the troubles life throws your way to an acceptance of possibility within one’s self. Along the way it touches on financial issues in “Hard Times” and the stress uncontrollable situations have on relationships in “All Is Not Lost.” His hauntingly profound insight is not a guide, but a hand on your shoulder to let you know you are not alone. Wise beyond his years he sings “I was raised as the son of a workin’ man/what will my son think of me/while my head’s in my hands?” Chord-by-chord, line-by-line, track-by-track you will linger on the emptiness and become lost in the warm sincerity of Daniel Pearson’s Mercury State.
Pearson doesn’t feel like the kind of person who wants to be the voice of the troubled masses, instead, he wants to be a voice to the trouble masses. Mercury State will find emotions you didn’t know you were feeling and bring them out; it will open your eyes to something much larger than yourself. The final track on the album is “Lights” and here are all of the lyrics: “I was told I could do anything/I could be anyone/the bigger the lie the more people will believe it/I found hope within some simple chords/and I hope that you/find what ever gets you through the darkness.”