This album is astonishing, from its sublime opening of 'Holes' to the joi d'vivre rhythms of 'delta sun bottle-neck stomp' (not a blues song, I assure you). It is definetely one of the great records of the 90's, up there with Moon Safari and Nevermind, if not the best. Like the other albums mentioned, Deserters Songs has its own unique sound. To be simplistic, its like Mercury Rev recorded it in a haunted mansion in the early hours. The music, like the sleeve, has a kind of irresistable noir-ish quality about it, a darkness - though not in the bad sense of the word - conveyed through intelligent instrumentation (Flutes, Saws, Mellotrons, Double Basses) that sits with a lovely romanticism in Johnathan Donahue's fradgile voice. The album has eight fantastic songs, all unique in thier arrangements and structures, and three instrumentals, which at first feel like fillers but you soon discover that these are tunes with a purpose. This is a must buy, I've never heard such a romantic record bursting with unique ideas. Truly sublime.