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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
Snowflake Midnight
Format: Audio CD|Change
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 1 November 2008
Further adventures from a small bright planet.

Mr Donahue and cohorts create an extraordinarily lush and vivid
soundworld for us with their new release 'Snowflake Midnight'.

These nine sumptuous tracks are almost overwhelming in their
multilayered, scintillating, numinous complexity.

Structurally and melodically epic in scope, the densely constructed
thematic and rhythmic waves at times threaten to capsize the craft.
I am wholly willing to drown, however, in music of this imaginative
impetus, originality and quality.

Opening track 'Snowflake In A Hot World' drives along at a furious pace.
Piano, percussion and hard edged guitar supporting the disembodied high floating vocal.

'Butterfly's Wing' is a curiously lilting patchwork quilt of beatbox, crashing keyboard chords
and hauntingly disembodied childrens' voices. A magic garden of sound.

'Sense On Fire', with its slowly building rhythmic pulse and cataclysmic resolution
is a simple and single-minded idea followed through with uncompromising clarity of vision.

'People Are So Unpredictable' takes us into almost ambient territory with its'
delicate tapestry of shifting synth chords. All ice and fire.

The brief instrumental 'October Sunshine' is simply sublime.

'Runnaway Raindrop', 'Faraway From Cars' (with its' ecstatic handclapping) and the quirky
'A Squirrel and I ( Holding On....and Then Letting Go )' all engage our attention, imagination
and admiration.

The glorious 'Dream Of A young Girl As A Flower' is, however, the blooming heart of
this truly wonderful album. An epic composition in every sense. So many ideas jostling
for attention without ever losing focus or coherence for a moment.

Challenging. Uplifting. Thrilling. A Quite Magnificent Achievement.

22 Comments| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 26 October 2011
If your not a fan and have never bought Mercury Rev before this is the Album to buy.... Put it on your i-pod, go for a walk alone and be amazed. Even as a fan I am blown away with the way the tracks all marry into one, you'll find that track nine will take your breath away and then you will go straight back to track 1 if you've not got back home and walk for another 30 mins.
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on 4 November 2008
i loved this album. from the first listen i was transported to another world and gladly let rev take the reins.
i would suggest listening on an ipod as the music is definately better with full focus not just background noise.
mercury rev are a band with an individual sound, fantastic!
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on 19 November 2008
Wow, some people have given this 5 stars! Well, let me say; I'm quite pleased about that, though I won't be joining them. The crux of the matter is that for me, this record is far too ambient.

You have to applaud the band's ambition - they've left their orchestral epic period behind, and started exploring new territory; this time it's electronic and techno sounds - unfortunately though, I don't find this album stimulating in any way. It sounds very "pieced together", very inorganic, and it lacks the elements of previous records that I liked. I know The Secret Migration" got a panning by and large, but that one actually became my favourite Mercury Rev album - [hear me out...] it was a masterpiece in songwriting; damn near every tune invites you to sing along. On Snowflake Midnight, any time you think you hear a part that you can one day see yourself singing along to, the music pauses... and then changes completely - usually into non-descript ambience, and then holds that idea for... well, way too long. One thing you can say for it though: it sure is unpredictable.

Upon hearing this record I was the first to say that you can never fully appreciate a Mercury Rev album on the first listen (I hated The Secret Migration at first), but this one hasn't grown on me, and so I've decided my current judgement is the one I'm going to enter for posterity.
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VINE VOICEon 26 September 2008
Mercury Rev have been around long enough to have acquired a devoted and faithful following which appears to be more strongly rooted in the UK than their native US. Despite this,they have never broken through into Indie music's premier league in terms of popularity or music sales.
For the uninitiated,the Revs are a cosmic blend of Flaming Lips and 70's rockers Steely Dan. Offering quite spacey, complex works rather than instantly accessible rock tracks.
Snowflake Midnight offers more of the same with the aforementioned artistes supplemented at times by early dreamy Pink Floyd !
Sharp production really gives the instrumentals and vocals real clarity and the tracks stack up fine with no real bummers to spoil the end product. Unfortunately no real classics stand out either so the whole package just sounds OK-ish.
Not a bad album by any means but not a belter which will draw in a new legion of admirers methinks.
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on 24 October 2008
The negative reviews elsewhere strike me as misguided. This album unfolds like a book, taking you through textures and sounds. The usual elliptical lyrics drop in and out and it manages the odd echo of the previous trio of their albums without ever sounding like a copy. It's certainly demanding and doesn't lend itself easily to being background music. But it does have the capacity to keep surprising you. I don't know how many times I'd been through it before the bizarre drumming and the strange elements that make up Dream of a Young Girl as a Flower' finally struck me. That track is like an exercise in throwing everything that shouldn't be in one song together and still coming up with a beautiful and strange concoction. If Mercury Rev came your way because you took Deserters Songs as a great piece of Americana, avoid this. If you see them as fearless sonic pioneers with a love of psychedelia and pushing the envelope on strange sounds, definitely investigate this.
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on 21 April 2015
One of my all time favourite albums
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on 13 February 2015
good item well worth the cost
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on 10 October 2008
Don't listen too closely to the above reviews. I am also a huge M.Rev fan and was nervous about buying this release. However, after only a couple of listens I am glad to say that I love this album already. OK, it's quite different to their previous work, but is as unique as is every one of their albums. So get it, listen and absorb. It's gorgeous.
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on 23 July 2015
Brilliant on Vinyl.
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