Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Mercury Rev - Deserter's Songs CD (album) cover


Mercury Rev


Prog Related

3.60 | 47 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Deserter's Songs is the fourth full-length studio album by US experimental rock act Mercury Rev. While the two first albums by the band Yerself Is Steam (1991) and Boces (1993) held a lot of promise with their psychadelic alternative rock style it wasnīt until the third album by the band See You On The Other Side (1995) that I understood why people hold Mercury Rev in such high regard. That album saw the band develop a more melodic and orchestrated sound and fortunately thatīs also the direction theyīve decided to follow on Deserter's Songs. Thereīs a three year gap between See You On The Other Side and Deserter's Songs which ( as far as Iīve been able to find out) is because of the lurk warm reception that See You On The Other Side got when it was released. Lead singer/ guitarist Jonathan Donahue alledgedly went down with a depression because of it and on top of that it probably took some time to recover from the commercial disappointment.

This time around the music is even more melodic and the orchestral parts are much more integrated into the songs than they were on See You On The Other Side. You can say that the circle is closed in terms of completing Mercury Revīs new sound. Thereīs still a few psychadelic leftovers in the sound which is great for the diversity and does give the music a progressive touch. Donīt be fooled into believing that this is a very progressive album though, there is a reason why this band is placed in the prog-related catagory. This is basically a melodic alternative rock album with orchestral parts. And a very good one at that I might add.

The musicianship is excellent. The smooth and pleasant vocals from Jonathan Donahue suit the music well. The rythm section is tight and itīs hard not to be impressed with all the vintage keyboard sounds, piano, Bowed saw and flute that colours the music. The orchestral parts are really good too and gives the music its special identity.

The production is excellent. Warm and pleasant.

One of the biggests assets on Deserter's Songs is that it is an instantly likable album but that might be its biggest flaw too though. After 10 listens thereīs not many surprises left but if that doesnīt bother you and you just enjoy melodic alternative rock with orchestral parts this is a recommendable album. After the first couple of listens I was gonna give this album a 4 star rating but my enthusiasm has cooled a bit after repeated listens and I will give the album a BIG 3 star rating. A great album though and a good place to start if youīre new to the band.

UMUR | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this MERCURY REV review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives