Living on Mercy Image
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critic Reviews What's this?

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  • Summary: The first full-length studio release in 26 years for the singer-songwriter was recorded in Nashville and Muscle Shoals.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Sep 1, 2020
    80
    It’s clearly a different time now in so many ways that it’s unlikely that any of these tunes, which are as good as any he’s penned (can’t help using that term), will become mega hits. Nonetheless, these songs are a salve for these times and do plenty of justice to Penn’s legendary status.
  2. Mojo
    Sep 1, 2020
    80
    Penn returns with a rare album, mightily played and poignantly sung. [Oct 2020, p.86]
  3. 80
    Some selections could have been edited to make this a shorter, stronger collection, especially since the smooth, unruffled mid-tempo groove gets a little stale by the album’s final third. But it’s a pleasure to have Penn back on the music scene he is so inextricably tied to, writing and cutting fresh tracks with the same attention to detail and overall mojo he applied to the timeless gems that made him such an iconic name in American soul music.
  4. Sep 1, 2020
    80
    [Some songs] are new, some of which were handed out to other musicians over the years. When collected on Living on Mercy -- and delivered by a crew of empathetic old pros -- they feel of a piece, a sweet, soulful, and reflective effort from a masterful singer/songwriter that benefits from its mellowness and slow, assured gait.
  5. Uncut
    Sep 1, 2020
    70
    "Blue Motel," with its drunk payday regulars, is a classic Penn narrative conceit, while "One Of These Days" nods to mortality at 78, but this craftsman keeps working. [Sep 2020, p.35]
  6. Classic Rock Magazine
    Sep 25, 2020
    70
    Living On Mercy finds the songsmith at his sweetest and breeziest. [Oct 2020, p.85]