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Mercury Rev - Snowflake Midnight CD (album) cover


Mercury Rev


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3.91 | 12 ratings

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4 stars "Snowflake Midnight" is the 7th full-length studio album by US alternative rock act Mercury Rev. The album was released through V2/Yep Roc in September 2008 and was accompanied by a free MP3 download companion album titled "Strange Attractor (2008)". To those who enjoy collectors items the vinyl edition of "Snowflake Midnight" includes a bonus LP which features the "Strange Attractor (2008)" album. "Snowflake Midnight" was produced by bassist Dave Friedmann. The album charted at number #52 in the UK charts which was actually the lowest chart position since Mercury Rev´s third studio album "See You on the Other Side (1995)" which charted at number #108. The band has never made the charts in the US.

The music on the album is unmistakably the sound of Mercury Rev with Jonathan Donahue´s fragile and distinct sounding voice and vocal style as one of the characteristics. The big change since the last album has happened in the way the tracks are arranged. There´s lots of ambient soundscapes and what appears to be electronic beats (some are even dancable in nature). We´re of course not talking techno beats here but there´s a notable change in the rhythm section since the last studio album. I always felt that Mercury Rev featured a kind of retro sound but on this album they sound fresh and contemporary which could have been a complete failure but in this case ends up being a great success.

"Snowflake Midnight" features nine tracks, distributed over a 41:29 minutes long playing time. The album is divided into two parts by the ambient and atmospheric instrumental track "October Sunshine". The material are generally of a high quality. The two longest tracks "People are So Unpredictable (There's No Bliss Like Home)" with it´s 6:40 minutes long playing time and "Dream of a Young Girl as a Flower" with it´s 7:55 minutes long playing time are probably the most adventurous tracks on the album, but all tracks, even the most simple vers/chorus structured tracks, are quite intriguing.

The sound production is professional, clear, and generally soothing to the ears. The sound is relaxing and suits the atmospheric music well. Overall "Snowflake Midnight" is a high quality release by Mercury Rev and not necessarily what you would have expected from them at this point, but I salute the boldness of the stylistic change, and personally I think "Snowflake Midnight" is the band´s best release up until then. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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