After the cinematic surrender of Deserter's Songs, Mercury Rev
have created an album that unfolds like a fairytale musical.
Orchestral swells, kaleidoscopic tones and childlike fragility imbue
All Is Dream with the theatrics of a trip through wonderland.
The plink-plinking of "A Drop in Time" progresses like the nimble
footsteps of a curious youth. The rich interweaving of ascending
voices, bells, strings and other sounds produce a tune rich with spry
imagination. "Nite and Fog" skips along with a fanciful vigor, while
"Little Rhymes" brings out the affecting innocence in Jonathan
Like fairytales, All Is Dream touches on the world's
introspective, darker spaces. The sparseness of the verses in "The
Dark Is Rising" highlights the touching frailty in Donahue's words
a quiet, bare loneliness reiterated by the song's framework of
tumultuous symphonic surges. "Lincoln's Eyes" evokes the sense of
being lost in a forest full of shadows and unknown paths. The
overriding feel on Mercury Rev's album, nevertheless, seems to be one
In a recent interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Donahue
revealed that Deserter's Songs "was recorded in an atmosphere
not unlike being buried alive, being surrounded by darkness and
striking a match and illuminating that darkness and the shapes and
the shadows on the wall that that light cast." In All Is
Dream, Mercury Rev navigate brighter territory. Magic doesn't
only happen in storybooks.