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Mercury Rev - Deserter's Songs CD (album) cover


Mercury Rev


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3.59 | 44 ratings

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4 stars Their second album without manic frontman David Baker sees this indie rock collective maturing into quieter, more contemplative realms. Like The Flaming Lips (who swapped members David Fridman and Jonathon Donahue), the band has mostly abondoned ear splitting noisedelica in favor of Brian Wilson influenced vivid songcraft. Donahue's vocals creak above a bed of keyboards and chamber pop arrangements. "Holes" leads the album off fittingly with a passage which blurs distinction between rock band and orchestral ensemble before going into a bittersweet melody which carries the song to its buzzing conclusion. At times childlike and nostalgic, the album is highlighted by the monumental "Opus 40" a track both epic and earthy. The climax soars off weightlessly as crashing chords accompany the lyrics "tears in waves/minds on fire/nights alone by your side" before guest Levon Helm (yes that Levon Helm) adds a loping beat that adds just the right amount of Americana to this otherworldly tune. The several dissonant interludes add to the strange atmosphere of this disc, which is like walking through an abondoned hallway and listening under doors to the conversations of strangers.
BobShort | 4/5 |


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