Album: Mercury Rev
The Secret Migration, V2
Friday 21 January 2005
This follow-up to 2001's All Is Dream is Mercury Rev's lushest, most exotic album so far, teetering dangerously on the edge of prog-rock preciosity. It continues the band's drift towards ever more grandiose musical confections, but the dark occultism that spiked the sweetness of the previous album has been replaced here by a sort of wonder at the mysteries of nature. It's a pastoral fantasia full of "dragonflies offering you a ride" and spiders' webs glistening with dew in the sunlight "like a necklace hung over limb and branch". In particular, Jonathan Donahue seems entranced by the cycle of the seasons, celebrating in songs like "My Love", "In a Funny Way" and "Vermillion" the "unseen force behind the turning leaves". For fans of the group's earlier, more chaotic albums, it may be a slightly sickly experience: there's no risk that any one of these tracks may develop a life of its own - even Grasshopper's fiery, psychedelic guitar breaks are kept to a minimum, only occasionally surfacing from the welter of keyboard textures. The Rev might be a more reliable prospect these days, but I can't help feeling they've lost some of their excitement, the thrilling sense of risk that infused their earlier incarnations. There are some lovely melodies here, but it's essentially an album aimed firmly at the mainstream.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Enrique Iglesias injured trying to catch a drone mid concert
- 2 Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, reveals new look on Annie Leibovitz shot Vanity Fair cover
- 3 Arsenal players boo chief-executive Ivan Gazidis after being told they would not get bonus for FA Cup triumph
- 4 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 5 UK weather: Temperatures set to soar making parts of Britain hotter than parts of the Mediterranean
The 1975 leave social-media after tweeting cryptic comic strip hinting at break up
Britain's Got Talent 2015 final: Winner Matisse had secret dog double, says owner Jules O'Dwyer
Top Gear to follow Have I Got News For You format with 'different host for each episode'
Britain's Got Talent final 2015: Ofcom receives 90 complaints about Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden's 'revealing dresses'
Ed Sheeran debuts new love song 'Sweet Mary Jane' about relationship with weed
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history