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5.0 out of 5 stars an auditory enchantment of human passion
For reasons that are impossible to put into words - Mercury Rev has been one of my favorite bands for a long time. Coming a long way since the days when we used to jam the "Your Self Is Steam" album in dark rooms. Their last two albums have completely escaped their old genre of acid-like-psychedelic rock. This band has matured beautifully. Donohue's lyrics...
Published on March 15 2003 by Deus Peregrinus

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3.0 out of 5 stars a bit of a let down, but thats relative
Deserter's songs may have been this band's peak. While not a waste, this album is not terribly cohesive, and is downright annoying at times. That said, "nite & fog" and "the dark is rising" are fantastic, trippy, and downright pretty songs. If you're unfamiliar with the band, the singer/guitarist/genius has a quirky, whiny, heliumy (allow me to...
Published on Dec 22 2003 by Michael Morris


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4.0 out of 5 stars All is dreamy, March 7 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: All Is Dream (Audio CD)
There's always been a sort of fantastical edge to Mercury Rev, even in the bleak grandeur of "Deserter's Songs." But "All Is Dream" takes that edge and pushes it, with its swirling music and songs that talk about dreams, vampires, nite and fog, and "floating in the tides of the moon." It's too subdued to be their best work, but it's certainly still good.

"I always dreamed of big crowds/plumes of smoke and high clouds/But dreams don't last for long," Jonathan Donahue sings wistfully at the start of "The Dark is Rising," a plaintive meditation on how reality and dreams differ. A gentle piano melody swells into orchestral strings, before subsiding back into piano and violin.

That sets the tone for the rest of "All Is Dream," with its plaintive, pretty pop that explodes suddenly into orchestral splendor or fast-driving rock. Soft female voices call out, eerie noises sound, and catchy rhythms are tempered with thick layers of strings, synth and otherworldly lyrics. It sounds like the soundtrack to a very good action-fantasy movie.

They do break from type here and there -- "The Distance From Her To Me" is an almost unbearably cute-sounding pop song, and "Tides of the Moon" is a dark, synthy ballad, where Donahue sounds like a friendly ghost narrating a nightmare. "With prickly little thorns/sharp tiny teeth/they're hungry for the threads/hanging from your sleeve..."

"Deserters' Song" is considered the peak of Mercury Rev's career, and "All Is Dream" is not quite the same. It's more fantastical, less epic, less mind-blowing, and it's positively happy beside its sister album. It's also a bit more peaceful, with moments of yearning and fear, but overall more contemplative.

Jonathan Donahue has a rather unmelodious voice, high and a bit weird-sounding. However, it grows on you. Especially when it's paired with the music here -- strings, mellotron, hammond and French horn all spice up the sprawling rock melodies, which would sound rather bleak and underworked otherwise.

The songwriting is one of the things that had definitely changed from "Deserters' Songs." It has that Ye Olde Rocke'n'Rolle sound, a sort of fantasy vibe, with mentions of entombed pharoahs screaming and "the sun's red gown turns to brown." Despite, I might add, the mention of Leonard Cohen, which I don't really understand.

Mercury Rev's "All Is Dream" is an appropriate title. It does sound like a dream -- a long, wandering, dark and strange dream.
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3.0 out of 5 stars a bit of a let down, but thats relative, Dec 22 2003
This review is from: All Is Dream (Audio CD)
Deserter's songs may have been this band's peak. While not a waste, this album is not terribly cohesive, and is downright annoying at times. That said, "nite & fog" and "the dark is rising" are fantastic, trippy, and downright pretty songs. If you're unfamiliar with the band, the singer/guitarist/genius has a quirky, whiny, heliumy (allow me to invent a word) voice that will either grow on you or you'll forever think he's kidding (wayne coyne of the flaming lips is the closest comparison, or maybe neil young after getting kicked in the jimmies). For casual fans, pass on this, for diehards you probably already have this, and are cursing my blasphemous words.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, some flaws, July 27 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: All Is Dream (Audio CD)
Musically, this record is extraordinary. The textures are lush, the melodies are hook-laden, and the neo-psychedelic instrumentation is seductive. But the falsetto vocals can get irritating, and are, quite frankly, unoriginal. One day, we're gonna find out that the Flaming Lips, Grandaddy, Sparklehorse, and Mercury Rev are all the same band.
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5.0 out of 5 stars an auditory enchantment of human passion, March 15 2003
This review is from: All Is Dream (Audio CD)
For reasons that are impossible to put into words - Mercury Rev has been one of my favorite bands for a long time. Coming a long way since the days when we used to jam the "Your Self Is Steam" album in dark rooms. Their last two albums have completely escaped their old genre of acid-like-psychedelic rock. This band has matured beautifully. Donohue's lyrics will tear at your heart strings and capture the most rigid of imaginations. The warm movements of strings, incorporated with Grasshopper's rich and melodic guitars, will elevate your auditory perception to unbelievable heights. Gone are the impressions of an experimental noise band, found is the chemistry of a band who understands true orchestral composition. Do not miss an opportunity to hear this band in a live performance! The "All is Dream" tour was breath-taking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this CD !, Dec 15 2002
This review is from: All Is Dream (Audio CD)
Thank you to Lee D here on Amazon for turning me on to Mercury Rev. My first MR CD purchase was "All is Dream" and I am Still hooked on it! Haunting and enchanting with a tender sadness.....
And, yes! I Do Love His Voice. Next came "Deserter's Songs" - another terrific Mercury Rev CD - although - it doesn't move my soul quite as much as "ALL IS DREAM". Check it out. Especially the song Spiders and Flies! jwm 12/15/02
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5.0 out of 5 stars Music for escapists/powerful subtle poetry, Oct. 31 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: All Is Dream (Audio CD)
There's room for improvement, but I give it a 5 because it was thoroughly wise investment. Repetitive, certainly, but an entirely distict and heavenly mood, YES! I bought 2 CDs that day, one by Joe Jackson the other Mercury Rev, and I threw out the first and laughed in ectasy to the second over and over. This is magical without being silly. It just hits that bullseye and sends you child-like into ectasy. Mercury Rev is an amazing surprise. Their music and lyrics are a dramedy. When I first listened to it, I could not help but ask, "Am I really hearing this innocence and purity?? I can't be!" Everything is so funny...Jonathan's frighteningly child-like and awkard voice fits the music perfectly! And don't get me started on the lyrics...He's a poet. The first track, The Dark is Rising has shocking ambition and it sounds like a grand movie theme, but it's all ok, because the poetry and sincerity totally buffer it. This music definitely feels like it has you in mind and somehow doesn't seem like it's only their project. My emotions flood and my imagination soars when I listen to this CD, so it definitely achieves its goals. If you're an escapist and like your albums to exist in a vacuum far away and safe from any "scene," you will love this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What the...?, Sept. 25 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: All Is Dream (Audio CD)
I bought this album on the strength of the first single from this album (The Dark is Rising).When I first played it, I thought "What the [heck] have I got here?" My immediate reaction was that I had spent my hard earnt cash on [junk]. After the second play of it (I always give things a chance), I can remember thinking "this is better then when I first played it". Third play even better, forth play - better still. Thats the thing with this album - it gets better every time you listen to it! Numbers 1,5 & 7 are my favorite tracks but they are all great! Hercules is mastery and the small "saw music" infill between track 4 & 5 is pure genius and quite magical!(Especially when it goes from one saw and melds seemlessly into two,creating an intertwining duet of unusual but beautifull music) BUY THIS and give it a chance! You may be dissapointed, but play it again and THEN decide! 5 out of 5. This is now my favorite album - I can't imagine my cd collection without it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful as Hercules, April 24 2002
By 
Andres Otalvaro (Bogota, Colombia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: All Is Dream (Audio CD)
Everything starts from the ground and progresively achieves heaven.
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1.0 out of 5 stars My god, this guy's voice is awful!!, March 7 2002
By 
"gsweeney20" (Caldwell, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: All Is Dream (Audio CD)
No doubt the music is great. Actually, the music is exceptional. But it boggles my mind as to why the lead singer is allowed to sing lead. HE IS AWFUL. His voice is garbage, his pronunciation is exaggerated. I give the music 5 stars, and the singer -4 stars...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and weird, Feb. 28 2002
By 
Chase P Martyn (Tequesta, FL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: All Is Dream (Audio CD)
I think this is one of the best records I own. I listen to it fairly often, and I keep on liking it. It is not good because it fits in to a specific niche in my collection, it is good because it doesn't. All of the songs have some definite musical talent behind them, but some of them seem very weird. Actually, all of them are weird to a degree. But the funny-sounding instrumental noises that you will hear in the background and the singer's voice that you will hear throughout the album, though strange at first, will actually fit right in.
The lyrics are meaningful and the songs are musically very, very solid. It's got strange sounds, but with songs this good the weirdness is easy to get past.
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All Is Dream
All Is Dream by Mercury Rev (Audio CD - 2001)
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