Mercury Rev Snowflake Midnight

Mercury Rev Snowflake Midnight
These days, it’s gotten mighty tough to hold your head high as a Mercury Rev fan. Since the band’s last great album, 1998’s Deserter’s Songs, they’ve been going down rather than up, with each progressive record sinking lower than the last. Sadly, on the New York trio’s latest, Snowflake Midnight, this trend continues. Simply put, Mercury Rev have gone electronic for album number seven, filtering their usual pop psychedelia through electro-lite synths, drum machines and ProTool manipulations. It’s not a bad idea, on paper, but on record it’s a tough sell, mostly on account of the songs feeling overdone yet half-realized. Amongst all the woozy, almost adult contemporary electronics, the album rarely makes an emotional dent. And when it does, it’s usually for the worse, like when Mercury Rev go over-the-top and deliver vocoder-treated baby cries, close mic-ed heavy breathing and, on "Runaway Raindrop,” even a rap. Mercury Rev do get it right on a few occasions, such as the moving "Senses on Fire” and "Faraway from Cars” but as a whole, a great return to form Snowflake Midnight is not. (Yep Roc)