Similar artists

Albums

Alternative & Indie - Released May 16, 2011 | V2 Cooperative Music

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Download not available

Alternative & Indie - Released May 16, 2011 | V2 Cooperative Music

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Download not available
$12.99

Alternative & Indie - Released February 8, 2019 | PTKF

Bobbie Gentry had a huge hit in 1967 with "Ode to Billie Joe," the haunting single that introduced her strong, sultry voice and flair for combining Southern Gothic drama with details so vivid that it feels like listeners are living her stories with her. She expanded on the world she built with that song on 1968's full-length The Delta Sweete, but unlike "Ode to Billie Joe," it was not a huge hit; its pioneering symphonic-country-folk-pop didn't even crack the top 100 of Billboard's Top LPs chart. Fortunately, the acclaim for Gentry's work grew as the years passed, and Mercury Rev's Bobbie Gentry's the Delta Sweete Revisited reflects her latter-day status as a country icon. Of course, Mercury Rev also knows something about being underappreciated. During the '90s, their experimental rock and dream pop earned glowing reviews, but little in the way of label support or commercial success. That changed with their 1998 breakthrough, Deserter's Songs, which added touches of Americana that they return to on Revisited. Enlisting an all-star roster of established and up-and-coming female vocalists -- including Lucinda Williams, Vashti Bunyan, and Phoebe Bridgers -- Mercury Rev heighten the mystical qualities of Gentry's music as well as their own. Many of Revisited's best moments play like a beautiful dream of the original: "Okolona River Bottom Band" combines sweeping strings and brass and Norah Jones' dusky voice into a shimmering creation myth that sprinkles the album with stardust as it calls it into being. The band couldn't have chosen a better singer than Marissa Nadler to transform "Refractions" into a phantasmagorical reverie, and their collaboration with Laetitia Sadier on "Morning Glory" is truly inspired; her intimate performance and the band's sunny symphonic pop make for one of Revisited's sweetest standouts. Throughout the album, Mercury Rev skillfully balance their signature sound with period-faithful details. The swirling flutes and brass squalls surrounding Rachel Goswell on "Reunion" evoke Boces as much as they do Deserter's Songs. Later, the harmonica, glockenspiel, and whistling that adorn Beth Orton's reverent performance on "Courtyard" hark back to 1968 without feeling slavish. As the band puts The Delta Sweete through their prism, they filter out some of the album's earthy realism with mixed results. Hope Sandoval's hazy sensuality makes "Big Boss Man" subversively flirtatious instead of defiant like Gentry's version, and the ornate arrangement on "Tobacco Road" glosses over the song's tale of lifelong struggles. On the other hand, the band intensifies "Parchment Farm"'s foreboding with the help of a stoic Carice van Houten, while Margo Price's flinty twang makes "Sermon" a showstopper. Since "Ode to Billie Joe" is so inextricably linked with Gentry's legend, it's not surprising that Mercury Rev included it on their version of The Delta Sweete even though it didn't appear on the original. With its lavish arrangement and Williams' gritty performance, the band find new ways of celebrating one of the great underappreciated artists of the '60s and '70s -- something that's true of Bobbie Gentry's the Delta Sweete Revisited as a whole. ~ Heather Phares
$9.99

Rock - Released January 31, 2014 | Excelsior Melodies

$9.99

Rock - Released September 30, 2008 | Excelsior Melodies

$9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released April 5, 2016 | Excelsior Melodies

$9.99

Rock - Released October 3, 2006 | Excelsior Melodies

This soundtrack to the dark and brooding period circus drama Bye Bye Blackbird finds Mercury Rev operating instrumentally. Swirling, atmospheric, and expansive, Hello Blackbird retains much of the group's melodic, psych-pop core, but allows for a great deal more experimentation, resulting in a mesmerizing fusion of ambient electronica, modern classical, and Krautrock-inspired prog rock. ~ James Christopher Monger

Alternative & Indie - Released May 16, 2011 | V2 Cooperative Music

Download not available
Four albums in and Mercury Rev remain as surprising and daring as ever -- exchanging the volcanic noise and twisted sensibilities of earlier releases for ornate arrangements and ethereal strings, Deserter's Songs unlocks the beauty always hidden just below the band's surface, its lush harmonics and soothing textures bathing in an almost unearthly light. Standouts including the exquisitely waltz-like "Tonite It Shows" and the celestial "Endlessly" are like lullabies, their music-box melodies gentle and narcotic; even the most pop-oriented moments like "Opus 40" and "Hudson Line" share a symphonic, candy-colored majesty far removed from conventional rock idioms. Complete with its fractured instrumental interludes and odd effects, Deserter's Songs sounds like no other album -- for that matter, it doesn't even sound like Mercury Rev, yet there's no mistaking the record's brilliance for anyone else. ~ Jason Ankeny
$9.99

Rock - Released February 4, 2014 | Excelsior Melodies

Deserter's Songs: Instrumental is basically for anyone who felt like they couldn't get enough of a good thing. While the original album was remixed, remastered, and otherwise fooled with to fine effect, it appears that this this set -- which mirrors that one song-for-song -- is literally the same recording sans the voices. Deserter's Songs was the album on which Mercury Rev lost its trademark, mischievous, and occasionally anarchic sense of humor, and became more ambitious musically; the truth is they focused less on adventurous music (if occasionally unprofessionally played) and more on a traditional symphonic pop framework, and Dave Fridmann's growing studio prowess, which one can hear without the interruption of the human voice, his Theremin or his Mellotron, Suzanne Thorpe's flute, Jonathan Donahue's chamberlain strings, Rachel Handman's violins, and brass, vibraphones, and Grasshopper's woodwinds. Only "Goddess on a Hiway" (the only song Fridmann didn't mix) comes off as anything like a song here. The rest of the instrumental versions of Deserter's Songs may sound less mopey and emotionally cathartic than its original version does, but without that pathos, and with all its blissed-out panoramic and dynamic "psychedelic" scope, it's also rather dull; coming off as a series of unfocused cues for a mythical soundtrack rather than as an actual album. Deserter's Songs: Instrumental is for MR completists only. ~ Thom Jurek
$1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released December 11, 2018 | PTKF

$14.99
$9.99

Rock - Released December 4, 2012 | Excelsior Melodies

Hi-Res
$1.49

Alternative & Indie - Released January 9, 2019 | PTKF

$12.99

Alternative & Indie - Released June 1, 1993 | Columbia

With Boces, Mercury Rev took everything that made Yerself Is Steam such an impressive debut and made their second album even more so. Over the course of ten minutes, opening epic "Meth of a Rockette's Kick" moves from dreamy musing to guitar-fueled crests -- and throws in flutes, harps, a brass section, and a choir for good measure -- announcing that the group is at the height of its powers. Thrashy freakouts like "Trickle Down" sound even more explosive and stand in sharper contrast to the Technicolor pop of "Something for Joey" and "Hi Speed Boats," while the sweetly lovelorn "Bronx Cheer" and "Downs Are Feminine Balloons" (key lyric: "If there's one thing I can't stand, it's up") reveal the vulnerability beneath the group's jet-powered guitars. But Boces doesn't just perfect the sound Mercury Rev pioneered on Yerself Is Steam, it expands it in predictably unpredictable ways. The Cheshire cat jazz-pop of "Boys Peel Out," the sleepwalking speed metal of "Snorry Mouth," and the spooky, smoky finale "Girlfren," though very different from each other, are equally captivating examples of the band's witty, innovative modus operandi. Mercury Rev never released another album as joyfully, unselfconsciously creative as Boces; after chief weirdo David Baker departed, the band pursued other fascinating directions, but this album remains one of the highest points of its career. ~ Heather Phares
$10.99

Rock - Released April 18, 2006 | Work

$12.99

Alternative & Indie - Released April 11, 2006 | Columbia - Legacy

$10.99

Alternative & Indie - Released April 18, 2006 | Columbia - Legacy

Music dictated not by logic but by intuition, Yerself Is Steam is an album at war with itself, split by its desire to achieve both melodic pop bliss and white-noise transcendence within the same space; it succeeds brilliantly, avant-bubblegum fuel injected by fits and flourishes of prismatic chaos. From the comic malevolence of David Baker's mad-scientist creations to Jonathan Donahue's opiate lullabies, Yerself Is Steam is vividly cinematic -- between the roller coaster feedback of "Coney Island Cyclone" and the narcoleptic ebb and flow of the climactic "Very Sleepy Rivers," the songs perfectly evoke their titular aspirations; likewise, from the album title (say it out loud) onward, the lyrics revel in the quirks and idiosyncrasies of language, buoyed by a homophonous prankishness and dada rhyme schemes, which, in their own odd way, suggest a kind of poetry. A near-perfect debut from a band that would only get better from here on out. [The American edition appends the superb single "Car Wash Hair," while some foreign releases include the bonus disc Lego My Ego, a crazy quilt knitted together from unlikely covers (Sly Stone's "If You Want Me to Stay," Miles Davis' "Shhh/Peaceful"), Peel Sessions highlights, and wonderfully loopy studio chatter.] ~ Jason Ankeny

Rock - Released September 22, 2008 | V2 Cooperative Music

Download not available
$9.99

Rock - Released December 4, 2012 | Excelsior Melodies

$9.99

Alternative & Indie - Released March 3, 2017 | Excelsior Melodies