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Mercury Rev Snowflake Midnight album cover
3.93 | 15 ratings | 4 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Snowflake in a Hot World (3:58)
2. Butterfly's Wings (4:06)
3. Senses on Fire (3:30)
4. People are So Unpredictable (There's No Bliss Like Home) (6:40)
5. October Sunshine (2:12)
6. Runaway Raindrop (5:55)
7. Dream of a Young Girl as a Flower (7:55)
8. Faraway for Cars (3:19)
9. A Squirrel and I (Holding On...and Then Letting Go) (3:54)

Total Time 43:29

Bonus 2008 LP - "Strange Attractor" :
1. Love Is Pure (6:54)
2. Taken Up Into The Clouds, Changed And Rained Down (1:43)
3. Pure Joie De La Solitude (2:51)
4. Persistence And The Apis Mellifera (3:52)
5. Fable Of A Silver Moon (1:14)
6. Loop, Lisse, Loop (4:27)
7. In My Heart, A Strange Attractor (5:27)
8. Incident On Abeel Street (2:14)
9. Af Den Fader Kommer Den Sol (2:36)
10. Because Because Because (3:26)
11. Nocturne For Norwood (5:39)

Total time 40:23

Line-up / Musicians

- Jonathan Donahue / composer & performer
- Sean Mackowiak "Grasshopper" / composer & performer
- Jeff Mercel / composer & performer

- Carlos Anthony Molina / bass
- Jason Miranda / drums
- David Fridmann / co-producer
- Mark Schulman / guitar (bonus LP)

Note : The actual instrumentation could not be fully confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: David Calderley

CD V2 ‎- VVR1051278 (2008, Europe)

2xLP V2 ‎- VVR1051271 (2008, Europe) Bundled with instrumental bonus album "Strange Attractor"

Thanks to Desoc for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy MERCURY REV Snowflake Midnight Music

MERCURY REV Snowflake Midnight ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

MERCURY REV Snowflake Midnight reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Well Mercury Rev will never get accused of poor output that is for sure. This official 2008 release is in this reviewer's opinion a marked improvement on it's predecessor, The Secret Migration. Not a bad album that either but the production sound quality was off. Midnight Snowflake is another MR conceptual work, full of butterfly dreamscapes, trippy dandelion like psychedelic naturist themes weaving in and out of Jonathan Donahue's eerie vocals. In fact his vocal input is less here as the music this time takes a more dominant role. But in this release Less is definitely more and the restraint works a treat. MR seem to really enjoy the layered soundscapes they are delivering, great atmospheres all lending to the mystique, beautifully weird music. Along with Snowflake Midnight was a tandem digital release called Strange Attractor. This official album is the more concise and measureable musically. Try listen to the extended version of the single ' Senses On Fire' off their myspace website, great loops and climaxes. Other equally great songs are People Are So Unpredictable, October Sunshine and the Floyd like Runaway Raindrop. If anyone ever thought that acid was gone listen to the finale The Squirrel and I , holding on..and then letting go, heck just listen to the lyrics and you will find that the psychedlic fringe is alive and well. Mercury Rev make another excellent album, unusual they have so little influence on progressive archives but once drawn into their strange hypnotic world it is hard to resist their sound. Highly recommended.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
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.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Mercury Rev has quite a varied discography. From the loud and noisy sounds of their first several albums to the more lush and soft textures of their later albums, one thing is constant, they have a experimental and unique quality about them. As for myself, I usually end up finding something I like about all of their albums, except for maybe a few of their really odd EPs.

"Snowflake Midnight", released in 2008, came at a time when the band was in their lush years, their sound calming down from their chaotic early albums, and they had settled quite comfortably into this calmer, dreamy-pop style. But the music is more than just "pop". It is unique with some sometimes challenging melodies and instrumental textures, but always pleasing to the ear. This album, consisting of 9 tracks, consists of some great upbeat tracks, but the music is quite dream like and perfectly layered with synth and guitar effects giving an almost symphonic, shoegaze atmosphere, hazy yet clear at the same time.

The music sometimes may take some getting used to, but that is what makes it great. The psychedelic feel tends to keep it away from being completely accessible, but gives it the charm that sparkles off the music like a drop of sunshine reflecting off a drop of water. The music here is not highly organic, but more made up of manipulated instruments, and, many times, the vocals are also manipulated, but in way that only adds to the lushness of the music. There is nothing about the electronically enhanced music that makes it distracting however, in fact, it makes the music what it is. This is most evident in the track "People are So Unpredictable (There's No Bliss Like Home)". This song uses the textures and layers to create some unsettling passages that actually come closer to the heavier and noisier albums of their past, but never staying too long at any one time in that sound. It continues on and actually becomes quite atmospheric and experimental. All throughout, there reigns a beauty that is hard to describe. That is what I find in most of Mercury Rev's music.

By this time in the game, frequent listeners of MR's music have become used to Jonathan Donahue's unique vocals. Their is a feeling of playfulness in his falsetto, yet there is also that child-like vulnerability to them, and he sings like he is inviting the listener to enter his world of swirling colors and textures every time he sings. The vocals match the psychedelic and dreamy feel of the music, but don't ever get comfortable, because just when you think you have it nailed down, he throws a curveball, like the many he throws in the track "Runaway Raindrop". Out of nowhere, a growling synth comes out of the woods, or a heavy beat slips us into a spoken word section that almost represents his own style of trip-hop, but in a progressive context. It's all really cool and it all makes sense as the music continues. The music does calm again, but becomes even more unpredictable as it does so.

Another album was released by the band at the same time as this one was released called "Strange Attractor" which was offered for free download. It was also available with the 2008 vinyl edition of this album as a bonus disc. It is listed separately on this site and is completely instrumental. It really is a great companion to this album and continues to explore the same textures as the ones on this album.

The album overall, is better than the previous album "Secret Migration" as the sound is much more varied and mature, but not quite as great as my favorite album from them "All Is Dream", however, I would consider it my 2nd favorite. I love the fact that the band decided to take on a more progressive, unpredictable and exploratory style on this album which gives it more variety and ingenuity. The music is quite beautiful and unique, lush and full of life. I wish I could give half star ratings, because it is a step above 4 stars, but not quite a 5 star. But it is still one of their albums that should be heard, mostly for its beautiful and unique style.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Mercury Rev created an extraordinarily lush and vivid soundworld on 'Snowflake Midnight'. This is far deeper into ambient psych than the band's previous offerings. The usual imaginative lyrics drop in and out and it manages the odd echo of the previous trio of their albums without ever soundin ... (read more)

Report this review (#514117) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Sunday, September 4, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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