Reviewed by: Fareeha Naim
Following 2007’s Wheels in Motion, Incidental Hum is Glenn Mercer’s second solo album. Best known as the guitarist and a founding member from the veteran New Jersey-based rock band The Feelies, Mercer’s inspiration stems from an earlier period in his career, where he explored improvisation, experimentation, and musical freedom. Incidental Hum features fifteen instrumental tracks, twelve originals and three covers.
This is an album to be listened to with an open mind and imagination. No specific genre accurately describes it as a whole; rather, it pulls from multiple places, opting to let each song play out differently than have them all mesh into one. Starting off with the peaceful “Hana,” each songs builds on the last, drawing other outside influences to keep them interesting. The pop-rock driven “Mobile” features a guitar solo you’d expect to find on an ‘80s rock record. “Kodiak” is an anthem I’d want to hear during the climax of a movie. Western influences are evident in the upbeat “Hermosa.” As far as instrumental albums go, Mercer is nailing it.
It definitely takes a seasoned listener to really appreciate Incidental Hum. It’s nothing groundbreaking or incredibly innovative, but it’s different and new and intriguing. Worth the listen, if you’re up for it.