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Deserter's Songs (Instrumental Version)

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Album Review

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 the original 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. They focused less on adventurous — if sometimes unprofessionally performed — music 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 and Mellotron, Suzanne Thorpe's flute, Jonathan Donahue's chamberlain strings, guest Rachel Handman's violins, as well as brass, vibraphones, and Grasshopper's woodwinds.


Formed: Buffalo, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

From their beginnings as avant-pop pranksters to their evolution into purveyors of rootsy, majestic psych-pop, Mercury Rev weren't so much a band as a long, strange trip. Formed in Buffalo, New York, in the late '80s, the band originally featured vocalist David Baker, vocalist/silver pickup guitarist Jonathan Donahue, guitar shaper/single-exhaust clarinetist Grasshopper (born Sean Mackowiak), rooster-tail bass flutist Suzanne Thorpe, bass explorer Dave Fridmann, and mojo stick drummer Jimy Chambers....
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