All Is Dream - Mercury Rev
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Moody, majestic, and unpredictable, All Is Dream plays like Deserter's Songs' evil twin, polarizing that album's gently trippy, symphonic pop into paranoid and exuberant extremes.
  2. If you're prone to enjoying the epic recall in rock, All Is Dream will be your momentary ticket outta here. [Oct 2001, p.82]
  3. Mercury Rev has not only matched the Herculean effort of Deserter's Songs, they've surpassed it.
  4. 80
    Not as revelatory as Deserter's Songs, but a worthy (and lovely) companion piece. [Aug/Sep 2001, p.125]
  5. 80
    Built around mellotrons, bowed saws, and other odd sonic devices, All Is Dream's arrangements often recall the prog-rock heyday of bands such as Can and Yes, albeit with more somber hues.
  6. 100
    Make no mistake, this album sounds incredible: cascading orchestrations, pulsating and instantly memorable tunes, an atmosphere that's both accessible and palpably psychedelic.
  7. Casual fans of modern rock may drown here (and probably won't get it), but admirers of like-minded artists such as the Flaming Lips and Built to Spill will certainly get Rev-ved up.
  8. 70
    It isn't very clear what the Rev is trying to get across, if anything at all. But it's a lovely listen all the same. [#51, p.100]
  9. 90
    If anything, surpasses its illustrious predecessor. [Sep 2001, p.98]
  10. Orchestral swells, kaleidoscopic tones and childlike fragility imbue All Is Dream with the theatrics of a trip through wonderland.
  11. Though their approach hasn't changed from the radically orchestral turn of 1998's Deserter's Songs, these songs are far more personal than their last set.
  12. It's exactly the album we all demanded from them, but moreso.
  13. Also worth noting is the vulnerability at work that's never surfaced before -- Donahue's voice takes on the pinched, high sound of Neil Young's on more than few songs, and it perfectly suits the sense of enchantment inherent in the album as a whole.
  14. In truth, there are unexpected delights at every turn here, not least in the realisation that Mercury Rev may only just be hitting their collective stride. [Sep 2001, p.115]
  15. Their most precise work yet - it's both musically decorous and lyrically savage... But high-pitched repetition of the music and the inaccessibility of the lyrics means that all but the most seriously baked listener has to work to meet the band on their shifting, obscure landscape.
  16. Continues in the bucolic vein of Deserter's Songs, and sounds almost as wondrous.
  17. 70
    They almost reach the orbit of their sister band, the Flaming Lips... [Oct 2001, p.127]
  18. Mercury Rev's unique talent lies in their ability to take a page from nearly every book and mold it into their own nuanced brand of music.
  19. Mercury Rev's ongoing foray into a strange sort of beauty overload remains a noble endeavor, but it inspires more admiration than emotional attachment.
  20. To expand simple love songs into extravagantly gilded showstoppers is to risk lapsing into bombast. But for all their love of musical saws and [Jonathan] Donahue's quavering voice, Mercury Rev are unashamedly grandiose, and their references may be too in thrall to the rock hegemony for some. [#210, p.60]
  21. This fine album contains several striking songs (notably “The Dark Is Rising” and “Nite and Fog”), but it suffers in comparison to the artistic breakthrough of its immediate predecessor.
  22. 90
    Like Disney on methadone scored by Jack Nitzsche with a gun against his own head, trying to remember this soundtrack he once wanted to make, which teamed Judy Garland and Neil Young. [Album Of The Month] [Sept 2001, p.86]
  23. Like Rubber Soul and Revolver, or Bowie's Low and Heroes, Deserter's Songs and All Is Dream function as bookends rather than as separate works, though the latter, recorded under the cloud of [intended producer Jack] Nitzche's absence, does strike a few too many morose chords.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Ulrich
    Aug 11, 2008
    5
    Never has a 'rock' album rocked as little as this! There is a lot of fanatical Rev fans so they must do something right......i just find them really boring! I can understand comparisons with The Flaming Lips who make similar music but with less annoying vocals and with a likability and personality that the rev seem to lack. Whereas the Lips can evoke and convey emotions and feelings that can be quite profound, i find the Rev convey feelings that are merely abstract which for me removes the humanity from the music and therefore dulls its impact. ps. note to "E Online"........mercury rev sound fuck all like Built to Spill..........ridiculous comment. Full Review »
  2. rogerthato
    Oct 21, 2006
    2
    Am I the only person who thinks the production on this sounds unreasonably cheesy? All the instruments sound like midi, which - whether or not they are meant to sound that way - ruin the otherwise decent songs. It's very frustrating to listen to. Full Review »
  3. PeterM
    Dec 9, 2004
    9
    Great album!