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Mercury Rev - All Is Dream CD (album) cover


Mercury Rev


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3.86 | 40 ratings

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5 stars Although I have heard a few other Mercury Rev albums, the only one that I am intimately familiar with is All is Dream. This is alternative music but it has a lot of prog elements to is and that is probably what drew me to this album. I heard the song "Nite and Fog" and loved it for the lyrics and the odd yet beautiful harmonies of the instruments. I then bought the album and fell in love with it immediately. It has not wore itself out since then, I still love it.

What makes it so unique? I have to say that the vulnerability of the tracks (especially the first four). Prog is usually so flamboyant and certain of itself (not that this is a bad thing). But here, the uncertainty that is apparent throughout this album is what makes it so beautiful, haunting and different. The strings are very dramatic and almost overproduced in the first track and this works so wonderfully against the vulnerable vocals (the falsetto to me sounds a lot like Neil Young's falsetto). Most of this is album is mellow but certainly not uninteresting ever. The second track continues the same tone minus the orchestra but with a new and unique melody. Lincoln's Eyes seems like a lullaby at first but turns out more intense later and during the insturmental break splits into a guitar solo with some dissonent things going on underneath. There is a short Intermezzo before the next track which uses some nice electronics and a bowed saw. This moves us into the next part of the album which uses psychadelia and pop sensibility to make some more accesible tracks for the album. This might seem like a turn off to many proggers, but if only pop music were like this....we would all be listening to better music now if this were the case. These next songs are still beautiful and definately are not filler. Nite and Fog as I said is the song that attracted me to the album in the first place. This is followed by more of the same....excellent yet accesible songs of the highest calibre. These songs demand your attention even if they are simple. The last track is Hercules and is a fine ending for the album. Vocal, guitar and piano start the track out simply and as the next verse starts, it becomes more intense. The chorus continues the build as the piano introduces a nice chord progression which the guitar soon picks up and follows and this continues the build of the song. At the second instrumental breaks, the tension breaks as an electric solo breaks in and the drums pound out a firm, decisive rhythm and all of the vulnerability and dissonance is resolved. The redemption is finally reached now at the end of the album.

Both the lyrics and the instrumentals are important to this album, but so is the production, well produced yet still unsure of itself. In my opinion, everything is used to it's utmost to make this a masterpiece of progressive rock and as I said before, the thing that makes this a masterpiece (and as a masterpiece it should be unique) is it's use of prog and vulnerability. Perfection that becomes more apparent as you listen to it more and more.

TCat | 5/5 |


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