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Mercury Rev - All Is Dream CD (album) cover


Mercury Rev


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3.88 | 38 ratings

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3 stars Released in 2001, All Is Dream is the fifth album by New York indie rockers Mercury Rev. It's an ethereal collection of mainly love songs with recurring themes of time, night and the moon (the last being a metaphor for the female form) that give it the feel of a concept album. The overall sound on the album is lush, with rich orchestration and intense vocals. The compositions are mature with intelligent lyrics that are brimming with vivid imagery. Dare I say pretentious, without it sounding like a criticism?

Track 1, The Dark Is Rising, is arguably the best and most dramatic song on the album. It's like a symphonic epic in microcosm with majestic string crescendos and sensitive piano and vocal reveries. Tides Of The Moon has a dreamy, abstracted atmosphere with eerie organ and effects weaving in and out. Despite the shrill guitar solo and prominent rhythm section this song has a soothing, soporific effect. The next track, Chains, is a catchy psychedelic pop song featuring Mellotron stabs and piercing guitar. The orchestral strings on this track remind me of ELO, but I'm not sure if Mercury Rev would appreciate the comparison. Lincoln's Eyes has a sparse intro with vocals and weird effects. There's a sudden change in dynamics from soft to loud as drums, guitar and spacey effects are let loose. The closing section introduces a new theme with electric piano and bowed saw.

The next four songs are basically a series of indie pop songs, all nicely orchestrated and very pleasant. Of these, Little Rhymes features Mellotron and emotive pedal steel guitar, while Drop In Time sounds like The Beach Boys thanks to the timpani and orchestral effects. The other two songs are Nite And Fog and You're My Queen, both of which are nice but fairly unremarkable. Track 9, Spiders And Flies, is a typically quirky Mercury Rev song. It features piano and vocals, later joined by Mellotron strings and flutes. The mini-epic Hercules completes the album. This track begins with acoustic guitar and builds gradually as other instruments join in, and finishes with Mellotron waves and a treated guitar solo.

All is Dream is a fine album and there isn't a bad track on the recording. The album is aptly titled as it's an intricate and graceful dream-scape. However, in my opinion there is only one outstanding track so my overall rating is 3 stars.

seventhsojourn | 3/5 |


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