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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece!
"What was all that about?"was my first reaction when I heard this album, I couldn't believe how hyped it was.But as experience has taught me before the best albums are the ones you initially hate so I listened a few more times still not really getting it,but on the umpteenth listen I started to notice it's charms no longer was the lead singers voice annoying...
Published on 3 Sep 2000

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3 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe this'll get better, but i can't stand it!
There's boring music and there's boirng music; and trust mei've heard a lot of it. But nothing could have prepared me forthis.......
i bought Deserters Songs mainly for the single Goddess on a Hiway which is a fantastic song. But sadly there is little else on the album worth listening to. Its dull and that's the end of it.
My advice? Buy The Wannadies or...
Published on 23 May 2000


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece!, 3 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Deserter's Songs (Audio CD)
"What was all that about?"was my first reaction when I heard this album, I couldn't believe how hyped it was.But as experience has taught me before the best albums are the ones you initially hate so I listened a few more times still not really getting it,but on the umpteenth listen I started to notice it's charms no longer was the lead singers voice annoying and with each subsequent listen it get's better and better and I even like the odd incidental tracks which litter the album, this now ranks alongside OK computer and Moon Safari as one of my favourite albums.It also has the strangest hidden track i've ever heard at the end and I love that too.Play this one full blast with the window open and look at the bewildered faces on people walking past.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How does that ol' song go....., 28 Feb 2007
This review is from: Deserter's Songs (Audio CD)
Arrived hear via The Flaming Lips & now I don't wish to desert this box of delights for some time....maybe it's because i'm working retrospectively ,as many music lovers tend to do & following the theme of finding an artist~song~sound~look~hook that stimulates & I've found Mercury Rev's Deserter's Songs has everything I could wish for...I must admit on the first time of playing the album I was dissapointed,I had just been playing The Lips Yoshimi & how do you follow that?...By playing this album over & over . It has certainly broadened my musical taste as Johnathan Donahue is gifted at finding a beautiful line,taking control & expanding it into something wonderful.Deserter's Songs takes you on a musical journey thro' folk pop softrock jazz blues classical to avant garde.If you are reading this then you are interested in Mercury Rev,invest in the album,play it over & over & enjoy it as one of the most beautiful & complete albums ever produced.Tell me what you think about the trax Holes & Endlessly.I believe Deserter's Songs is exceptional ,so much so,I bought it twice.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eerie mix of Disney sounds and black-hearted America, 7 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Deserter's Songs (Audio CD)
This is an album that you hear and say "they can't be serious, can they?" as you listen to the singer's strangely cartoon like voice and impossibly twee mellotrons and ultra high strings. It's only when you listen to the complex orchestrations that you begin to realise this band is indeed serious. "Deserters Songs" sounds like candy but tastes like something darker, giving us glimpses of an american landscape full of despair, humour and hope. It's an emotional ride, and has the feeling of albums like OK Computer and Achtung Baby, that drift along and leave hundreds of layers of meaning, saying far more than they suggest but never appearing to be pretentiously profound. It even ends with a good ol' downhome footbanger in Delta Blues Stomp, that lifts the spirit and leaves you with a reflective, exciting and technically superb album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars timeless, 1 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Deserter's Songs (Audio CD)
Every so often an album comes along that changes your listening tastes. Bought this after reading an on-line review on some American activists site.
Simply, this album is sublime. Full of metaphors of escapism the crashing guitars compete with re-workings of modern, classical string arrangements.
It's American underground's "Screamadelica"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully enigmatic., 4 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Deserter's Songs (Audio CD)
Few albums have ever left you wrapped in emotion all the way through. Whether you listen to the classically-haunting "Holes", the gospel parody "Opus 40", or the amazingly infectious "Goddess on a Hiway", the listener is stuck for the entire 45 minutes. After the drum-drenched upbeat eccentricity of "Delta Sun Bottleneck Stomp", the listener really doesn't know whether to feel hysterically happy or insanely depressed. This album is one of the most beautiful LPs ever written, if only for the permanent enigma of why it was written. In a few words, "Deserter's Songs" is freeze-dried emotion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 10-year anniversary for 1998 masterpiece (9/10), 24 April 2008
Mercury Rev's 1998 album was undoubtably a turning point, a massively influencial re-envisioning of the pop-rock form that inspired countless imitators. Marginally pre-dating The Flaming Lips' equally stunning The Soft Bulletin by about one year, in my view it began a protracted period of American dominance in indie rock (Radiohead excepting) that remains a decade later. Probably the album for which the term psych rock was invented, Deserter's Songs eschewed the orthodoxy of the period for lush orchestrations, faux-naive vocals, lullaby-like melodies, and kaleidoscopic harmonies. Unlike their British counterparts, their music favoured awe-struck wonder and whistful romanticism over gloom-laden paranoia or the back-to-basics approach of the (slightly later) post-punk revival. Psychedelic without being prog, but too weirdly off-beat to be mainstream, Deserter's Songs had a then unfashionably wide-screen grandeur that enabled the alt-rock scene to once again embrace a broader sonic pallet. Replete with horns, piano, violins and bowed saw the album has influenced countless acts from The Earlies and Animal Collective to Midlake and Grandaddy. A majestic, wide-eyed classic.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album, 9 Nov 1999
This review is from: Deserter's Songs (Audio CD)
A haunting collection of music.
Takes your mind on a laid back trip through a wonderfully textured sonic landscape. From the opener "Holes" through to the "post last track noise" this album woos with brilliantly layered sounds, including some of the best mellotron playing I've heard in a long time.
Only one gripe. The final track - "Delta Sun Bottleneck Stomp" -, though still a good track, with its upbeat tempo just doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the album. It's not written by the same member of the band as the rest of the material, so that's to be expected. Just seems like an odd inclusion. Maybe to wake you up after drifting along to the rest of the album?
Why is it that bands who have ALMOST hit rock bottom with excesses of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll , but recovered, seem to be capable of producing quality in their work which was not so apparent in previous offerings?
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 28 April 2001
By 
This review is from: Deserter's Songs (Audio CD)
I don't really understand people who wrote reviews for this album and didn't like it or get it. And how could you ever say anything like the Wannadies are better? It is true, if the kind of music that gets you going is the kind of drawl found on a over-produced Nsync or Britney Spears album then you'll find no joy for your narrow mind here. This album is a classic and should be on every normal persons playlist, just give it time, all the great albums are growers, if you want throw-away-pop look elsewhere, this album will be with you forever. I like all the tracks except Hudson Line which to be fair, was written by Grasshopper. I actually liked Funny Bird, quite an emotional song I thought and my fave off the album, Bottleneck Stomp isn't too bad either. You really have rate this as an album and not a collection of hits. The whole thing flows effortlessly as if it is one big piece of work, not some drab album thrown together with the one hit single and a few album fillers - like you see alot these days. It's atmospheric, it's beautiful, it's like the woman you love, only better. I wouldn't like to compare it to anything else, cause to me, Rev are Rev but if you like Radiohead, Grandaddy or even the Chemical Brothers you will probably like this. These bands might even have been influenced by early rev...buy it and look for the new album this year..
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important band of the decade!, 5 Oct 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Deserter's Songs (Audio CD)
This is possibly the most important band of the decade and thensome, they come from New York and surrounding areas. They began in a front room playing guitars to a wild life program about rivers, I know you cant believe it either but its true. They started with David Fridmann mostly on vocals with Jonathan Donahue on backup vocals Dave brought the more phycadelic side of Mercury Rev out while Jonathan aimed for a more commercial angle. Dave soon departed and Jonathan took over and they have gone from obscurity to absolute geniuses. I have to say it I personally think this is the best album of 1998/1999. Deserter's Songs is the predecessor of 'See You On The Other Side' this is the most refreshing album you will hear, Jonathan is a lyrical master with such words as 'Like a wave along the coast I feel the highs and the lows'. The opening song for the album is 'Holes' which shows Jonathan is in the right place and able to pull of playing guitar as well as singing. Singles of this album are 'Goddess on a Hiway, Delta Sun Bottleneck Stomp and Opus 40'. All you need to know is this is one of the most important albums of all time, if this was on a scoring system they would get 20 out of 10. This band deserves your attention I rest my case.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's No Running Away From This, 17 Aug 2007
This review is from: Deserter's Songs (Audio CD)
Not sure how you explain this CD to people not familiar with Mercury Rev. Brilliant, Innovative, Defined, Inspirational, Refreshing............all would be appropriate adjectives. But that still doesn't get across the true essence of the Band.

My introduction to MR was the track "Holes" which was on a compilation disc given away with a music magazine. It sounded so different and enchanting that I had to explore them more.

When I bought and listened to this CD, I was completely taken aback by the sheer beauty and uniqueness of their approach to writing and producing.

Jonathan Donahue has a voice that often sounds as if he is about to go off key but never does. He keeps an edgy side to his vocals that make you feel both uneasy and consumed at the same time. Quite simply it works so well with the material they write. And what material.

The songs and arrangements on this CD are sumptuous and beauty personified. It really takes you by the hand and leads you to another land........zone even. The unusual instrumentation, at times sounding like ethereal garden saws crying in the wind of some enchanted forest. I told you it wasn't easy to describe.

This is music on a much larger and grander stage. It is almost like a fairy tale melding with high class ballet. Close your eyes and it does far more for the imagination than any mind warping drugs. Absolutely brilliant.

This is the sort of escapism that really makes you forget stress, bad times or sad times. Each track unfolds into something magical. I cannot rate this CD highly enough. This should be in everybody's collection.
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