Mercury Rev – All Is Dream (Reissue): Album Review

Mercury Rev have All Is Dream repressed with added extras on limited double vinyl set.

Released: Out Now

Label: Cherry Red Records

Format: 2LP

Formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1989, Mercury Rev quickly grew to become leading figures in left field alternative rock. Earlier albums veered towards experimental, off-kilter psychedelia but by the end of the decade, the band had developed their own brand of serene, piano-based Americana with the acclaimed, best- selling LP ‘Deserter’s Songs’ (1998).

All Is Dream was originally released on V2 in 2001 and boasted a more expansive, cinematic production than its predecessor (again courtesy of ex-member Dave Fridmann). The record was warmly received by critics and fans alike, enjoying higher chart positions than its predecessor (it is still their highest charting album in the UK). It landed in Q Magazines top albums of 2001 and was lauded by publications such as Uncut.

Mercury Rev

21 years on, Cherry Red Records have released a new yellow and green marbled pressing celebrating the album. The gatefold copy is a lovely collectors piece with the original artwork presented in all its glory.

As for the music, the original album still sounds superbly fresh and vast. The album’s opener, The Dark Is Rising, reached number 16 in the UK singles chart at the time, and is still a prominent part of the bands live set today. Nite And Fog was also released as a single. It’s a shame that this single effort didn’t breach the top 40 as it is a beautiful piece of music with lush string arrangements and rousing drums.

Elsewhere on All Is Dream, Tides Of The Moon still powerfully broods and evokes a little of then label mates Grandaddy. Lincoln’s Eyes is one of two more sprawling efforts on All Is Dream. Moving between soaring guitars and hushed lullabies, it really is a tour-de-force of a song. Hercules is the other epic and closes the album out in bombastic, rousing fashion. You can really see now, two decades on, why this album has aged so well and still endures. It has so much to offer.

As for the extras, there is a cover of The Beatles classic, Lucy In The Sky Diamonds. It’s given the ‘Rev’ treatment and is a song that fits well with the bands stylings of the time. Another cover that is included is the bands take on Black Sabbath’s trippy Planet Caravan. Again, it is a song that fits well with the band and allows the band to dip back into the psychedelia of earlier albums. In addition to these covers, there is a range of demos and outtakes that round out the whole package.

All Is Dream is an understated gem of an album that deserves to be rediscovered.

Listen to the wildly cinematic The Dark Is Rising from Mercury Rev below.

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