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Deserter's Songs

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Oct. 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: V2 Cooperative Music
  • ASIN: B0000246KA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,053 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Holes
  2. Tonite It Shows
  3. Endlessly
  4. I Collect Coins
  5. Opus 40
  6. Hudson Line
  7. The Happy End (The Drunk Room)
  8. Goddess On A Hiway
  9. The Funny Bird
  10. Pick Up If You're There
  11. Delta Sun Bottleneck Stomp

Product Description

Product Description

Mercury Rev - Deserter's Songs - Cd

Amazon.co.uk

That Mercury Rev avoided a messy, chemically-assisted burnout in the middle of the 1990s is remarkable; that they should return in 1998 with an album as fine as Deserter's Songs is almost unfeasible. But working by the old adage that "what does not kill us makes us stronger", Deserter's Songs is an album of unparalleled scope. Drawing on the legacy of America's pioneers and the nascent scenes of folk-rock and psychedelia, Mercury Rev have formed a living, breathing piece of heritage. "Holes" is dizzied in America's vast scope, and warmed by woodwind instruments, mellotrons and a Wurlitzer organ. It sounds like a beautiful climax, but it's only the first song, and there's better to come, what with the weathered "Goddess On A Hiway" and "Opus 40". Deserter's Songs is one of the essential American albums at the end of the 1990s. It's hard to see that they--or anyone--can top it. --Louis Pattison

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By A Customer on 3 Sept. 2000
Format: 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
When Mercury Rev first arrived and blew my head clean off with the astounding brilliance of Yerself Is Steam, I believed they could never again produce such a magnificent piece of work. It's darn good to be wrong, although a different beast, Deserters Songs is just as hauntingly majestic. The majority of the songs are filled with a subtle strangeness, an other worldliness, Jarvis Cocker likened the feel of the album to the way those old fairy tale movies get you, I agree, a happy sadness if you will. It's an emotional journey, often leaving me glassy eyed but clueless as to why. This is beyond psychedelia, folk rock, pop, whatever, it is truly unique genius despite hearing umpteen influences/references throughout. Deserters Songs is one of those stand alone albums that defies genre and 'just is', it puts you in a celebratory melancholic state in a similar way to Bowie's 'Hunky Dory' or DJ Shadow's 'Entroducing'. Lyrically and thematically diverse, it keeps giving, the more you listen, the more you discover. Not just a musical triumph, Johnathan Donahue's gorgeous vocal delivery varying between straight up vocals, crooning and Shari Lewis doing Lamb Chop.

Moving, haunting, beautiful, timeless and epic, this is the kind of album that will make you feel upset for not having discovered it sooner, you will feel like you've wasted time.
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By KaleHawkwood TOP 100 REVIEWER on 11 Aug. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With the presence on a couple of tracks of The Band's Levon Helm and Garth Hudson, and a distinct Americana feel to it, this is a key '90s album, and almost unique in the spell it casts if you're in the mood for it. I seem always to play it in the evening by candlelight. It's good for what ails you.
You're going to either buy into Jonathan Donahue's fey little-boy vocals or not, but they are all of a piece with songs that flirt with tweeness but come out fighting too. His singing grows on you, like soft moss, and the eclectic choice of instruments throughout is heartening and a rare pleasure.
Holes is a compelling opening track, but the song which startles immediately is Goddess on a Hiway, with its catchy verse leading into powerful chorus:

An' I know it ain't gonna last
An' I know it ain't gonna last

Other singers have their moments too, including Amy Helm, Marie Spinosa, and Mary Gavazzi Fridmann, and Joel Eckhouse plays a mean bowed saw.
The Funny Bird is another highlight, as is The Happy End - but really this 1998 album is like a suite of songs with a mood and atmosphere as beguiling as it is hypnotic.
I don't listen to it all that often, but when I do - every few months - it's like visiting an old and trusted friend, who places a calming hand on my head and lulls me to a mildly exotic, ancient place of calm and inevitable peace. In its way it is quite beautiful.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
love this album rev at their best, full of strange sounds and all the eccentricity of mercury rev at full throttle. production is great, much better than daves work on the flaming lips or the now deceased sparkle horse, if you buy any album by this band buy this a strange gem.
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Format: 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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