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Zion I
ZZ Top
Artist: Mercury Rev
Label: V2 Ada
Genre: Alternative & Punk
Release: Jan 2001   My Rating: 0
Duration: 99:26
Summary: "All Is Dream" is Mercury Rev's most fully realized album yet, the ideal follow-up to its predecessor, 1998's acclaimed "Deserter's Songs". Like "Deserter's", "All Is Dream" replaces the experimental leanings and noisy guitar wig-outs that marked their early work (especially "Yerself Is Steam") with the more subdued (and, arguably, mature) sounds of strings, Mellotrons, and woodwinds. This time, however, their sound has expanded even further, racing to catch up to the band's considerable imaginations. "All Is Dream" is an album of sobering beauty, boasting layers of lush orchestration that lend a dream-like atmosphere to the proceedings and an epic scope to the songs. Album opener "The Dark Is Rising" starts with a swirl of strings like the beginning of some grand Hollywood melodrama before moving to a simple piano accompaniment, then explodes again into more strings and a chorus of female sopranos. Like dreams themselves, the songs range from the fantastic ("Nite and Fog") and the inspiring ("A Drop In Time") to the downright creepy ("Lincoln's Eyes"), yet all are tethered to reality by the reassuring vocals of frontman Jonathan Donahue. In another decade, "All Is Dream" would have been considered a "concept album"; for now, suffice to say that it is an album to be savored and appreciated as a whole, for years to come. "--Robert Burrow"


Artist: Mercury Rev
Label: V2 Ada
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release: Jan 1998   My Rating: 0
Duration: 89:20
Summary: For 1998, Mercury Rev did something completely different: they shunned the psychedelic rock of their previous ways and went for baroque. Literally. On "Deserter's Songs", bowed saw plays as prominent a role as guitar, and most of the songs are ballads, not anthems. There's a tender, folksy quality here that was missing in the group's previous (albeit also great) recordings. Mercury Rev have always been difficult to classify; yet on this album they make the pigeonholing even more difficult. "--Jason Verlinde"