Mentoring and support from the likes of Tony Conrad -- who performed with John Cale and Faust, Perry Farrell, the Chemical Brothers and members from the Band -- bring us to Deserter's Songs, Mercury Rev's most accessible album to date. In the context of Rev's history of three ambitious, pseudo-psychedelic albums, Songs does not break new ground. Rev continues its sonic tradition of recording on 35 mm magnetic film -- the frequencies produced could not be duplicated in a normal studio situation -- and of creating some of the most luscious, yet light, sweeping, modern soundscapes, not unlike Spiritualized or the whimsical and childlike Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Shimmery strings, haunting wind instruments, moody horns, Wurlitzer organs, eerie theremin-bowed saw sounds and wickedly psychedelic guitar work conspire to perfectly underscore your best hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness, dreaming narratives. Deserter's Songs does, sadly, sometimes overkill with too much haunting classical phrasing. Yet, gems like the Hans Christian Anderson flavored "Endlessly" or the enchanting "Tonite It Shows" impact and soothingly linger. "Opus 40" and "Hudson Line" highlight inspiring drum and saxophone contributions from members of the Band. "The Funny Bird" dramatically soars to the heights of early Boo Radleys or My Bloody Valentine. The last track, "Delta Sun Bottleneck Stomp" begs the exorcising of the undeniable Rod Stewart "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" club-mix nuances. As you listen to this cartoonish hidden track, you're left to wonder if Rev has deserted its history of spontaneous, tripped-out music-writing in favor of structured, easier to digest art-pop.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.