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December 8, 2023

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Mercury Rev
All Is Dream (V2 Records)

By: Alex Steininger

An exhilarating, breath-of-fresh-air pop album that proves pop music is still in the hands of those who care about music, rather than pumped-up Barbie dolls with microphones. Mercury Rev's breathtaking All Is Dream is one of the best records of 2001, an album filled with slumbering melodies, sweeping harmonies, and near-perfect vocals giving the music the extra spice to make it that much more glorious.

The Gleeful, frolicking "A Drop In Time" floats like magic in your ears, turning you into pure sugar as you taste the sweetness that Mercury Rev creates. Soft vocals shine through the easy-going, light pop tingle that the band creates in the backdrop. "Lincoln's Eyes" adds a bit more of an abrasive touch to the music, like a good dream gone astray, venturing near nightmare land, but somehow turning that into an imaginative, enjoyable adventure as well. The rhythm section adds a bit more push to the song while the guitars and vocals add a spooky essence to everything. But, as the song winds down, you're put back into happyland, smiling and enjoying prettier sounds.

The entire album is like this, one big pop roller coaster of lush, melodic soundscape after another. The band creates beautiful paintings without paint or a brush, choosing instead to use their instruments and imagination.

This is pop music for those that want to think and listen to others think while they create music. A top notch, timeless pop record that will sell steadily for years to come instead of reaching a plateau and going away. I'll give it an A+.

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