Led by the multi-talented TJ Mercury, the NYC based music and art collective Mercury and the Architects is making waves for their unique brand of intelligent rock music. The project seeks to use their musical gifts as a source of inspiration and to renew hope in human society. TJ Mercury exemplifies this in the new album The Ghost That Haunts My Castle.
The Ghost That Haunts My Castle is a delightfully intense album that is composed of eleven tracks. TJ Mercury does a great job in cultivating the album’s organic sound and focus. That being said, The Ghost That Haunts My Castle is not only an innovative effort, but is bursting with themes of freedom of expression and self-renewal. This is one journey that proves to be a full plate of talented genius. Everyone should try to get on this bus even if it’s in musical theory alone. Mercury and the Architects will leave you in anticipation about their future undertakings after listing to The Ghost That Haunts My Castle.
The fun begins with Nothing But The Truth, an energetic track with heavy guitar overtones, keyboards, and a host of other instruments. This is a very inspirational tune that discusses life’s conditioning versus facing the challenges of daily living. The hook perfectly balances the rock-rap verses that tell a grim story that too many of us have seen in our own personal lives. Continuing with the theme of life’s complexities is the track The River. Tj Mercury is an excellent songwriter and his unique ability to put together some great music with thought-provoking lyrics really shines in The River.
Musically, The Ghost That Haunts My Castle draws its influences from several genres including, Americana, classic rock, neoclassical, psychedelic, rap, and modern pop. Adding to the flavor of TJ Mercury’s work is session drummer Shawn Pelton (SNL), guitarist Ben Butler (George Michael), bassist Oscar Convers, artist Chelsea Rae, and singer Christina Dimaio, along with members of TJ’s regular working band. Such a superb collaborative effort seems to be the fuel in the track The Fire. One of my favorites on the album, The Fire invites us into a nocturnal playground of melody. The Fire will leave listeners humming its chords and riffs, an instant charmer. Following The Fire is Nightmares of You, a lovely duet that deals with the pain of watching the ego die.
Bridges is a tempestuous ballad that puts the spotlight on , who does an excellent job in wearing the light of voice in a deeply moving and memorable performance. Complicate Me bolsters in the pride of inner conflict. TJ Mercury’s vocal is legendary in this rap composition.
How To Love Again is a love song that transitions from the album’s theme of inner conflict to the land of self-renewal. The production behind How To Love Again is really tasty as well as TJ’s performance in the song. Cynically, I Murdered Love follows. This is a cool song on the pop side of town, which highlights the glamour of living in passion without commitment. Next, we find ourselves in the pleasures of the title track The Ghost That Haunts My Castle. Amazingly, this is a very revealing song, as we discover that the “ghost” is our unfinished business and karmic mishaps that we have to deal with along the stream of life.
Who We Were is a touching track and definitely an album gem. TJ gives an above the rim vocal performance that is nothing less than spectacular. Christina Dimaio also adds a bit of perspective, which enhances the depth of Who We Were. The final track Burn is a seemingly bright track and a brilliant display of what can happen when musicians approach their work with sincerity and a genuine love for the craft.
The Ghost That Haunts My Castle by Mercury and the Architects is an iconic masterpiece that is both soulful and a bold social commentary. This is definitely an album that will not only be enjoyed by fans, but industry insiders and producers, due to the quality of the work. Tonight, I’m proud to be a New Yorker. Thank you!